There was quiet sense of anticipation in the small crowd at Clwb Ifor Bach as they waited for Ought to take the stage. Idle chatter filled the air; some were discussing the nuances of the newest album, others just knew the band from their hit song ‘Habit’, one guy just came along because he thought the name was ‘pretty rad’. The pre-gig chatter evaporated as soon as the criminally underrated frontman, Tim Darcy, confidently sang the opening line of ‘Sun’s Coming Down’. It was at that point that the crowd were struck by how well their sound translated live.
Darcy’s quiet demeanour evolved into a nuanced bravado as soon as he took the stage. He was able to add a certain rawness and playfulness to his lyrics in a live setting. When Darcy sang lyrics like “I am no longer afraid to die/I am no longer afraid to dance tonight’ you believed him. The live show felt like an extension of the artistic efforts seen on both of Ought’s records. ‘Habit’ was the highlight of the set. It was a rare moment where everyone hummed or sang along, signing the same song, but for different reasons.
The performance from the rest of the band was exceptional. You could tell immediately that they were well-rehearsed and individually strong musicians. However, most importantly, all four members gelled on an artistic and personal level. During the performance of ‘Today More Than Any Other Day’ you could see all four of them pulling a smile. It was comforting to see a band in their prime enjoying the moment, even at a small gig in south Wales.