Minnesota trio Low have long been heralded purveyors of quiet, crawling despondency – miserable precisionists, if you like, who have soundtracked and soothed several generations-worth of melancholy-gripped minds since their early-90s inception. So it’s no surprise that this Barbican set – rammed with cuts from new album ‘The Invisible Way’ - is a masterclass in their much-lauded restraint, sadness and minimalism.
From the off, the whole thing is elegantly mournful; a halted countdown clock on two mirrored projectors (suspended above their trademark primitive setup) is all that awaits the three black-clad figures, as they stroll nonchalantly onto the spacious stage. The pindrop-silence and hushed murmurs are then killed cold by Alan Sparkhawk’s delicate intro to ‘Plastic Cup’, which proves hypnotically reflective, coupled with grainy footage of Ferris Wheels.
It’s a tone-setting introduction that only reaches new heights with ‘Just Make It Stop’; the song’s steady brushed-symbol and Mimi Parker’s beautiful, disaffected coo, combining perfectly alongside an array of retina-dazzling mirrorballs.
Applauded back after the equally breath-taking ‘So Blue’, the gig is hit with a rogue wave of rowdiness; “Thank you so much, we’d love to play some more songs”, Sparhawk announces, before a ricochet of heckles attempt to sway his next choice. The following foray into their formative years (‘Over The Ocean’) and a spine-tingling ‘When I Go Deaf’ are met with the mute captivation they deserve however, before a rare-airing of their Dirty Three collaboration, ‘I Hear… Goodnight’, provides a fitting climax. Of course, the encore’s utter poignancy only further demonstrates the tight reigns this band have on a room-full of hearts.