There are two sides to Saint Agnes. Questions are met with charm and grace, but the second footsteps are heard striding for the stage, the audience’s eyes are transfixed. Bony white fingers firmly grasp microphones, instruments poised at the ready; the stage is no more a stage than it is a wasteland in which one false move could set the room ablaze in a state of free-for-all.
At the back of the room, the muffled sound of an engineer can be heard prompting the band to start. What comes next is a barrage of blood soaked blues and rock and roll and lead singer Jon Tufnell’s harmonica shreds throughout “Merry Mother of God Go Round” like a swift sharp switchblade slashing through what was seconds ago a tense and chilling atmosphere.
Stylistically the band’s southern gothic demeanor fits comfortably on stage as it would in a roadhouse way out west. Jon and Kitty Arabella Austin’s chemistry is undeniably reminiscent of The Kills and The Dead Weather, and bassist Ben Chernett and drummer Andy Head compliment the band’s cinematic reach to potentially be the soundtrack to the next Cormac McCarthy’s on screen adaptation.
Tonight, at Nambucca in London, audiences witnessed their own adaption. As cameras are thrust in the band members faces, spines are twisted and lustful looks are given, Saint Agnes, the once patron saint of chastity, is now the seductress, enigmatic and captivating that would no sooner look at you with love than she would smile as the buzzards pick at your bones and you find yourself able to do nothing but smile back. Watch this band; watch this band now before it’s too late, before you have to sit up high beyond the gods and watch the Devils below do their dirty work.