12 Days of Christmas: Low Get Eerie with their 1999 Christmas EP

lowFor most people, getting in the mood for Christmas comprises having a mince pie and putting some decorations up; for this bunch of melancholic music lovers it is all about listening to a set of minimalist doom with a Christmas twist from US band, Low.

Part of an audience with Low style tour, the converted church in Bristol proved the ideal setting for such a magnificent sonic Christmas treat. The acoustics helping lift the stark drilling drum beats and whirring lo-fi guitars all the way to the rafters.

Both support acts, Erik Koskinen and Katie Harkin (the front woman of Sky Larkin) join Low on stage as part of their extended Christmas band - adding extra layers of guitar and another rich female vocal to compliment that of the Minnesotan trio.

Koskinen delivers a set of stripped back folk centred on a clear love of women and whisky - every song seems to have a reference to one or both of these. Beautifully fragile vocals and subtle guitar riffs played on stunning instruments give the compelling Americana a Phosphorescent style glow.

For Katie Harkin, it's more familiar ground - the Leeds singer songwriter has the most incredible vocals, Norah Jones' honey tones with the right dose of Wye Oak style wisdom. She sings a couple of songs seemingly about the turmoil in the world at the moment, including "National Anthem of Nowhere".

Low's set is split into two and mirrors that of the Union Chapel set in London earlier in the week. The first and main part is a dozen Christmas songs off their 1999 EP Christmas, which front man Alan Sparhawk jokes is what enabled him and partner in work, love and life Mimi Parker to have two children - financially speaking.

A good mix of original songs, including "Long Way Around The Sea" and Christmas covers, such as "The Little Drummer Boy". It's the sinister sounding "Santa’s Coming Over" which really stands out here, with severe drums and overwhelming vocals which take you to another place. Christmas as told by the child catcher or a red-suit wearing serial killer. Nick Cave murder ballad vibes with a David Lynch eeriness that’ll stick with you for days.

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