Tellison @ Boileroom, Guildford 14.06.11

It’s been a while, but Tellison are back.

Jun 14th, 2011 at The Boileroom, Guildford / By Gary Green
Tellison Four years since Contact! Contact! first came out, we now have brand new Tellison material with a new album The Wages of Fear and a new tour. The Boileroom, Guildford, is where the second date took place.

Launching into single ‘Say Silence’, the quartet’s (tonight a live five-piece) penchant for hooks is immediately clear. ‘Collarbone’, last year’s stop-gap single, sounds great. Despite a sound mix that could’ve been clearer, it’s obvious they’ve been rehearsing a lot; apart from the compulsory “Hello” at the start, there is almost no space between tracks, meaning we get a relentless indie-pop-rock barrage. Which is a good thing, especially when it comes to Tellison’s well-written guitar harmonies and catchy rhythms.

Stephen Davidson’s vocals are what ground it all emotionally – there’s an unexpectedly tender moment when he begins singing ‘My Wife’s Grave is in Paris’ with the lyrics, “I wish I’d never met you.’ And the rest of the band give it their all, too; Pete Phillips can be seen losing himself in the moment at more than one point, and when a song reaches its climax tonight, it’s a thrilling thing to watch Tellison move around like one ecstatic organism.

The gig is a brief affair, but we get the best tracks from their two albums, delivered with a professional efficiency but max level of shy-cum-cheeky fun. With Wages of Fear now officially released, hopefully these boys will get a lot more recognition for their earnest, energetic and clever music.