Some records stay with us in a way that we even remember the very first time we listened to them, no matter how many years ago it was, we remember the impact they had and the way they might have changed us as listeners. Watching from a Distance is such a record. Almost a decade since its release in December 2006, those of us who have been touched by it – and we are a numerous bunch, given the extent of its subsequent influence over the doom scene – probably still hold dear those moments of stunned silence, giddy excitement or placid contemplation which followed that first spin of the disc.
While still clearly a doom album, it wasn’t really comparable to any doom we knew, not even the Warning‘s own earlier works. There was a kind of deep-seated melancholy to the heavy yet tranquil atmospheres, and most of all in frontman Patrick Walker‘s earnestly emotional singing, which trasmitted a peaceful longing all of its own. It’s far from a joyful collection of songs, but it’s not crushingly depressive either. “Remember being happy in our silence?”, Patrick asks at one point during the heart-wrenching 11:30 minutes of Bridges, which also features “Can someone feel too much?” as one of its last sentences, and these examples illustrate the peculiar moods of this album more than any explanation would.
Ominously, this would turn out to be Warning‘s last album, the British trio disbanding a couple of years later, leaving behind as rememberance the wonderful shows they played following its release. Nevertheless, the importance of the band, and of Watching from a Distance in particular, has steadily been more and more recognised throughout the doom metal community and beyond, and it has grown to be considered one of the iconic releases of this century.
Patrick Walker has followed up Warning with the amazing 40 Watt Sun, whose remarkable second album, Wider than the Sky, will soon be released. While it has been wonderful to see that band follow its own path and find its own true voice, it’s undeniable that it has also helped to fill a little bit of the void left in our hearts by Warning‘s disappearance.
Now, however, it’s time to look back in time for a moment, and return to that time that all of us Warning fans have set in stone in our memories – Warning will get back together on stage for a unique occasion, performing Watching from a Distance at Roadburn 2017 on Saturday, April 22 at the 013 venue in Tilburg, The Netherlands. It will be the very first time the band will perform this classic in its entirety on stage – the last song in particular, Echoes, has never been played live before.
Joining Patrick on stage will be Marcus Hatfield on bass guitar and Christian Leitch on drums, completing Warning’s final line-up, and also guitarist Wayne Taylor, who has played bass for the band for some time almost twenty years back, between the demos and the first album, The Strength to Dream. Wayne was drafted in to help more faithfully reproduce the arrangements of the album. We are in for a definite treat, and rest assured, it’s not just us in the audience who will be feeling it deeply.
“I’ve been approached fairly frequently over the past several years about doing this and I only knew that the time and the circumstances would need to be right,” Patrick has told us. “I also understand that this record has left an indelible mark on a lot of people, for most of whom, by the time they became acquainted with the album, were unable to see us perform that music live. I am humbled that there is still an interest in Watching from a Distance all these years on, and I’m going to be very moved to be able to play it for an audience at Roadburn 2017.”
So, time to start preparing for yet another historical moment at Roadburn with a few spins of Watching from a Distance – we’re counting the days already.
Roadburn Festival 2017 will take place April 20-23 at the 013 venue, Tilburg, The Netherlands. Tickets will be on sale from October 20.
This entry was posted on Wednesday, October 5th, 2016 at 1:52 pm and is filed under 2016, Festival News . You can follow any responses to this entry through the RSS 2.0 feed. You can leave a response, or trackback from your own site.