- The Vryll Society
Having been making records since the early 2000s Ariel Rosenberg, also known as ARIEL PINK, had gained little recognition outside of his own musical circles until the release of Before Today in 2010. It was the first LP to be released under the group title of Ariel Pink’s Haunted Graffiti, and his use of eclectic musical styles and experimental recording techniques gained him much respect and critical acclaim. Ever since then he has been making hipsters drool with his zany output and unhinged live shows, and his latest record, pom pom, has done little to dampen his appeal.
THE VRYLL SOCIETY are a band plucked from the current crop of Liverpool talent and make for an inspired choice of support. Despite some issues with the sound, which results in lead singer Mike Ellis’ vocals sounding like, in his own words, a Dalek, it is a solid showing and one that hints at great things in the future.
With many devotees now clearly present, a charmingly dishevelled Ariel Pink takes to the stage to much fanfare. He begins proceedings with the irreverent and bizarre Jell-O, a track that would be well suited to some surreal, acid-soaked children’s disco. To be honest, this description could quite readily be applied to much of Pink’s back catalogue, and serves as a good starting point for what turns out to be an overtly intriguing and beguiling performance. Merely two songs into the set and Pink is berating the audience for being “fucking stupid and not loud enough”, an outburst that would probably spell the end of any good vibes for most performers, but one that is so intertwined with the onstage persona of the man that it is not only forgiven but applauded.
Taken from the latest LP, One Summer Night is a high point, with its memorable 80s horror-movie intro and bubblegum melodies providing a backdrop for Pink’s laconic vocal delivery. Never one to court convention his disparate influences are always apparent, and this track seems to encapsulate his appeal to a contemporary audience fairly well. The songs are ever-hinting at familiarity whilst distorting and warping these expectations to create something infinitely memorable yet faintly disturbing. Kind of like watching a Christmas film in slow motion whilst someone starts a small fire in the corner of your living room.
With the drummer now clad in a leather cowboy hat and bikini, and the rest of the four-piece band in full flow, the show has taken on a mutually enjoyable party atmosphere. The die-hard fans are clearly having a great time, but those who have come along purely as a result of word-of-mouth will also be suitably impressed.