Washed Out - Berlin 1 - Photo by Alexandre Kurek

Photo by Alexandre Kurek

Tourist-mayhem, Kreuzberg. It’s getting cold. Leaves are falling. Red. Yellow. Wet. Beware: of not losing balance, of not getting tangled up in your bag’s straps, the flamboyantly colorful tote you wear and WASHED OUT jeans. It’s an autumn’s wet dream for the romantic: Wasn’t Ernest Greene frontman of this bedroom project, Laptop-wizardry, synth-preset hazy dream of music programming, boring, attracting the wrong kind of people – wearing pants so skinny, shirts so big?

So here you are, in a club UNDER a train-station. London’s AMATEUR BEST is already playing his set. A soundtrack for every random employee night at Urban Outfitters, H&M, American Apparel, you name it. Pedestrian. Punished by the venues sound engineer by tuning down the volume all too low, playing out his move: sounding like GEORGE MICHAEL. He modestly hides behind his electronic gadgets, where his assumptive role-model would have tossed glitter and confetti into the crowds female-wide-opened-pleading-eyes.

Photo by Alexandre Kurek

Photo by Alexandre Kurek

Anytime (aphorismic!) a reputation seems to be misleading. Where are all those Ryan Mcginley models? Why is no one hazed in instamatic light? The audience is not excessively hip, but it’s all pussy: 80 percent female, the rest is wearing beard in any facon (oi! pardon the French). Not joking: nobody shaved tonight, what might fit the following quite well: WASHED OUT. Onstage a tight operating five piece, is lead in by chirping birds before entering It All Feels Right from the new album Paracosm. While the band seems to produce psychedelic make out music on record, here, it’s all 70s funky raise-your-hands-or-hug-me-groove. Where do all the hippies meet? (“South Street” – google it). It’s a smart move to put focus on rhythmic bravado, rather than disguise structure with glitching effect and synth laden wave. Even songs like New Territory  lay down a lot 80s reference in favor of a driving disco vibe.

So it not only feels right, it actually is a “Great escape” from upcoming winter depression, seeing someone executing their well crafted songs even better on stage. WASHED OUT always have been an over referenced band. Live, those comparisons change and shift. All the effect and production flourish, is overshadowed, put softly aside, by rockism and funk-bass. Progier elements help the show become more muscular – there’s guitar solos and shoegaze-wall all over the place – which move the show away from Drive-Soundtrack, towards brit-rock. If Greene isn’t careful and gets a proper (in an unproper way) haircut, he might be confused with Richard Ashcroft in some time. And if focus will be put on guitar work, rather than using BEACH HOUSE synth patterns (Greene’s wife, a stunning Victoria Legrandesque appearance) they’ll sound like U2 by the next record.

The whole show was roughly ten songs long, plus two encores. Everyone happy, hugs and kisses: Chap-EAU.