Besnard Lakes at Islington Assembly Hall live review
Venue: Islington Assembly Hall, London
Montreal proggers Besnard Lakes expand for London show
Since their inception in 2003, Montreal cosmic explorers The Besnard Lakes have grown in number from the original core duo of husband and wife Jace Lasek and Olga Goreas to a six-strong line-up (five when touring), but it’s doubtful that they ever saw themselves becoming a 13-piece band. And though this is a bold and determined move that’s been put together specifically for tonight’s performance, featuring members of Swervedriver and Wolf People among others, it’s difficult to shake the feeling that the one-off project is, on occasion, thwarted by a combination of less than satisfactory acoustics and the gap between ambition and actuality.
Not that this is a bad show, but there’s more than one instance when the usual smooth sailing of The Besnard Lakes finds them navigating uncommonly choppy waters. An early portent sees the pace disrupted following the beautiful opener, Like The Ocean, Like The Innocent, when drummer Kevin Laing finds himself negotiating with an unruly hi-hat stand which leads him to borrow one from Tom Watt of Wolf People’s kit.