Archive are foreigners in their own land. Having formed in South London in 1994, they’ve achieved arena status in mainland Europe whilst remaining relatively unknown in their homeland. They’ve never quite grasped the UK market – Floydian prog-rock credentials and 20-minute songs don’t make great radio. Hence, the band look claustrophobic on stage at Dingwalls. It’s a far cry from the 6000 capacity venues they are used to.
Despite several line-up changes, internal fracas and shunning the UK live circuit for 6 years, tonight’s audience is adoring. And patient. Their opener, the title track from their most recent album, Lights, clocks in at a hefty 18 minutes.
The set consists of material mostly from Lights and their previous darker, more electronic instalments You All Look The Same To Me and Noise. Vocal and guitar duties are split between Dave Penny and Pollard Berrier. Berrier, the most recent addition to the band, comfortably adopts the role as leader. With passion and showmanship he fits in well with the bands larger-than-thou sound. However, his theatrical gestures do little to engage his audience, save shouting out a loud ‘fuck you’, to which the audience responds in kind. If they had space to build a wall between them and the audience they probably would. Hard work, but ultimately rewarding.