Psychic Selves Perform An Incredible Set An Hour Late After NYPD Sweep The Gateway
If you haven’t been to the newcomer of the ever changing DIY circuit, The Gateway may throw a curve ball in your evening plans like few other venues do on a consistent basis. Now while it’s not for any racist controversies like Black Bear Bar could readily give you on any given night, no, not even close, – something a bit benign and undoubtably inconveniencing for all involved instead. Let’s try on a random NYPD sweep in the middle of a scheduled show? That was the scenario I walked into as I rushed to the venue (thinking I would be late.)
Outside however, the picture began to come into view, 20-30 patrons outside, about a dozen cops, and Psychic Selves NOT on a stage. It didn’t take Sherlock Holmes to know what was going on when David Raphael Taveres was smiling at my arrival, shaking his head. He quickly griped, updating me with what little information he was given from the group of confused on goers. There was some sort of “random” “sweep” going on. The crowd looked patient enough, the police were varied in temperament, from ‘straight chillin’ to ‘when the fuck am I going home?’ to ‘don’t look at me.’ I grabbed the above picture when half of the band surfaced between other bands shuffling gear outside. They held hands in solidarity, they knew the night wasn’t looking well, but, hey, “that’s rock n’ rock!” Take a look at a picture I snapped on our instagram page, it doesn’t show the entire front where people were gathered, to be honest, I was nervous with a phone around the nearly dozen cops that were in and out of the venue.
When we finally shuffled inside after 20 mins or so there was a large crowd still drinking by the bar, I knew it must have been a sort of licensing sweep and not some altercation they were called in for, the kids were alright, I could be wrong as I don’t have an official report. But how often has the amount of cops rollin’ up been a reflection of the severity of caution one need have, they’d roll up 20 deep to bust a grape in a fruit fight if it meant they’d get to ride around in them cool cars!
I snagged the picture below of a band I couldn’t quite remember the name of, before being informed the event was actually taking place at The Gateway’s upstairs portion. (If you know this band, feel free to let em know they looked like good sports figuring the Boyz in Blue were staring em down a minute earlier!)
Upstairs the situation was settling in, only one problem: Vivienne Eastwood began their set without their bassist and guitar player! Their frontman seemed a bit flustered (for good reason,) he wasn’t sure where his bandmates were in the craziness that erupted downstairs, but continued on improvising with their drummer supporting. By the second song however, both members were on stage and the audience also simultaneously filled up, cheering on between songs. To their amaze at what had transpired this evening, the band settled in. The band really got loose by the fourth song in, they were a mixture of shoe-gazed starlight guitar driven songs with punk rhythms and handled the situation with grace. While another delay halted Psychic Selves, from pluggin in and playing, mainly due to settling onto the stage through the chaos, when they finally went on, my immediate reaction was a comparison of the last time i’ve seen them play (downstairs right here at The Gateway a few months back opening for locals Journalism.)
The band had a new energy about them. Psychic Selves can be divided part and parcel into the grit of post-punk and the dream-pop melodic elements of 80’s Alt-pop that dabbled with gothic aesthetics. The result is beautiful airy vocals with a busy rhythm section pummeling along to songs that never quite fall into dance-beat territory, but never quite shy away from it either.
They also have a lead singer on drums, how amazing is that? The crowd had circled in quickly as they began playing, (i’m sure Vivienne Eastwood kicking things off upstairs helped everyone know things were back to normal, albeit it was well past midnight by now,) Psychic Selves are set to release new material and have a cassette–in true indie fashion–out now on Time Castle Records. Hope to hear their upcoming release soon, and that it captures the marrying of guitars and lightness in textures that sound as well rounded as they did the other night.