BDY_PRTS , with support from Emily Isla, at Mad Hatters, Inverness.
Tuesday night saw the arrival of Bdy Prts in town but with a delayed start due to the aforementioned band having issues getting into their van which required a little ingenuity before the show could get on the road.
Opening for Bdy Prts was Emily Isla with an acoustic set before an attentive audience. Emily has a voice which has a smoky, jazzy delivery. She has a solid set of songs including ‘Cheek to Cheek’ which she had only written at the weekend and was confident enough to place in front of an audience. Emily’s cover of Big Thief’s ‘Paul’ matched with AdriAnne Lenker’s vocal just all too well. The only ‘however’ I would add is that the set was a little one pace and a little injection here and there would add a little variety that a longer set would need, but yes, the girl has a voice.
Bdy Prts came, maybe not with a reputation as yet, but certainly pedigree that includes Sparrow And The Workshop’s Jill O’Sullivan, Jenny Reeve who has worked with Malcolm Middleton and drummer Jonny Scott of Olympic Swimmers and session work with The Kills and Chvrches. The band’s core was supplemented by Paul Mellon on an additional guitar.
Short on vowels but big on just about everything else, especially Jill’s very pointed shoulders of her outfit this was to be a larger than life night in a very understated venue for the occasion. Bdy Prts recently released album ‘Fly Invisible Hero’ was effectively the setlist for tonight, but not in track order. The set opened with the album opener ‘IDLU’ which set the tone for the night. There is a complexity to Bdy Prts which belies their somewhat playful and theatrical front. The underlying electronic programming never overpowers but augments the performance, because that was what the evening was, a performance.
It was a performance of many layers; the stage was not a boundary as they used the space in front with natural extension and Jenny, in particular, flitted through the audience as they attached the crowd to the performance. Outwardly it’s theatre, the theatre of say a Gaga but beneath that is where it gets interesting, really interesting.
It’s complex on the musical palate; the harmonies are reminiscent of First Aid Kit or The Pierces. The 80s synth pop elements hold without distracting, but yet there is a Florence and the Machine beat lying below. There is a Lana Del Rey hold in songs that grip you but don’t drop to a sombre level. But the fizz around Bdy Prts surrounds the effortlessly sounding album that they have produced. There is absolutely no filler in here and the evening glides to a conclusion all too soon. Avant garde pop, if there is such a thing, has new champions.
Often after a gig the crowd disperse and as the dust settles the merch table has shifted a couple of t-shirts, but tonight there was a queue. I wasn’t the only one who saw something here that was more than a little bit special tonight. We will hear more of Bdy Prts. That is certain.
See our images of the night below;