It's always awkward when you go to a gig to watch or review the support band. Rarely is the crowd at full capacity, and not very often are they particularly interested. Unless of course the support band you're going to see is Acre Tarn, and the gig in question is their debut outing. With a veil of mystique surrounding the band, not a huge amount is known about them other than that they're an ambient duo who tested the waters with their debut track 'This Once' back in May. The enigma around the band looks set to dissipate however, especially if tonight's set is anything to go by. Dark, atmospheric and ultimately captivating, Acre Tarn are a band you should be very excited about.
At only six tracks long, their set is over too soon, and as the house lights at Manchester's Deaf Institute go flick on, there's a far bigger crowd blinking at the brightness than was present in front of the stage half an hour previously, serving as a testament to the band's beguiling charm and enigmatic ambience.
Opening with 'Serene', they quickly assert themselves as something different from the other bands on the bill and despite having a similar to set up to headliners Alpines, Acre Tarn's drum loops and synth hooks drip with a chilly darkness; the vocals only adding to the overall majesty of it all. An early inclusion of 'This Once' draws yet more of the crowd towards the stage, whilst what follows is all completely new to us, tracks such as 'Wishing Bones' and closer 'Skeleton Key' really exhibiting the diverse musicality of the band before us.
If tonight's set is anything to go by, then it should go without saying the band's forthcoming EP should be something we're counting down the days for. Indeed, whilst their mystique is still very much in place, as their reputation grows that will certainly change, but it isn't strictly a bad thing and the more people who would consider themselves fans of the band, the more my confidence in music-buying public will grow. For the minute though, the band should continue to relish in relative anonymity, shrouded by the strobe lights and haunting synths of live performances, because before long the wheels of the hype train will set in motion, and all it can do then, is gather momentum.