Halves played their final headline show before going on hiatus last Friday night at the Workman’s Club in Dublin.
Following a scene setting supporting slot from the ever-brilliant Carriages, which also featured a performance of the duo’s upcoming single ‘Roots’, Halves took to the stage accompanied by post-classical artist Rachael Boyd on violin.
Almost instantly the dense textual weight of Halves distinct cinematic sound washed over the Dublin venue resonating within the walls, captivating with each harmonic flourish from the group’s deeply layered instrumentation.
What is undeniably striking about Halves live sound is how intricately the band reconstruct the vast sonic structure of their studio work. Renditions of the emotive ‘Tanager Peak’ and the delicately glistening ‘Let Them Come’ highlight this attention to detail as the mood, the ambience, the tone and the feel of the music is conveyed with a precise sense of craft.
Indeed in comparison to previous experiences watching the group perform with a much larger audio/visual live aspect (most notably their stunning Boa Howl album launch at the Button Factory last year) Halves’ created an engrossing atmosphere in a relatively stripped back context through hushed passages of gentle beauty to pounding rhythmic flashes made all the more affective by the slow climb that preceded them.
‘Drumhunter’ provided the pinnacle in a performance filled with high-points. The natural moving syncopation of the song’s percussive centre coupled with Halves brilliant use of texture and Boyd’s interwoven string work filled the broad spectrum of sound showcased on the original recording.
A suitably subtle show Halves simply let the band’s powerful music speak for itself through deftly handled musicianship. With this being the group’s last headline appearance for the foreseeable future it is difficult to see another group that could possibly create a sound as dramatic, singular and evocative. Their return will be much-anticipated and absence sorely felt.