La Sera - Fleece, Bristol 12/06/12
Words and photos by Sapphire Mason-Brown
After a support band that sparked the mysterious appearance of two head-bangers that kept a portion of the audience at bay and a Mr Blobby impersonator that turned a strip of the floor into their own personal dance floor, you couldn't help but think, “now how are La Sera going to top that?” How often does one see 90s television characters gyrating to rock? This is where a distinction has to be made, one that separates spectacle from what we wish to see at gig; a great performance. The former was fun, but the latter is what made this trip to the Fleece worth it.
Despite Goodman’s vocals being a bit quiet on the opening song it’s not long before the audience is captured by her charm and the catchy twang of the accompanying guitars.
Even when she isn't at the helm, you can't ignore Katy Goodman. The Vivian Girls bassists has never falling into the background, her hypnotic swishing bewitching the viewer and her sing-song vocals recognisable in every song she sings. With La Sera, what we see is the Katy Goodman show, and with such outings, there is a tendency to compare stage presence and performance across the bands.
The difference lies not in any expenditure of effort or any interactions with band members, but the overall tone of the show. La Sera provide a slightly more subdued affair, one of the many reminders that we are watching a different band entirely. With a Vivian Girls concert, the audience is very much a part of the performance. I’m not referring to the drunk fellow gig-goers ensuring that you never lose the beat, but the band feeds off their viewers, it’s very reciprocal event. La Sera are a different affair. We sway, we dance, we hum and sing along but we enjoy the performance more so than we become part of it.
This isn’t to the detriment of the gig of the ‘atmosphere’, Goodman’s solo effort has produced two considered albums with heartfelt lyrics and measured composition that, even when performed live, one cannot help but take time to absorb. From the dreamy ‘Love That’s Gone’ and 'Never Come Around' to the more upbeat 'Please Be My Third Eye' La Sera entrance the audience for the duration of their set illustrating what a force they are live.