Tennyson Rifftop Tent Stage, Victoria BC, September 17
Published Sep 18, 2016Tennyson are a barely legal brother and sister electro-pop duo who have been making waves recently for their explosive soul-infused sets, and theirs at Rifflandia was no different.
After the lowest of the low point was reached in the set before theirs (check the festival schedule if you really want to know), Tennyson reminded us that talent, skill and gracious ingenuity can all meet at once, and at a wildly young age, at that. With FKJ, James Blake and Aphex Twin as their notable influences, the two youngsters put smiles on everyone's faces with their cute family chemistry, evident from their first notes.
Sister Tess Pretty played an electronic drum set and triggered dubstep samples, drifting creatively in and out of shifting rhythmic changes and highly orchestrated melodic sections, crafted by her brother, Luke, on keys. The latter appeared to be quite the whiz kid on the keyboard, playing lightning-fast runs in jazz-fusion style and garnering lots of applause. He sung on a few tunes as well, which were particularly soulful moments in their set. Their compositions were not just fun and easy to get into, but also artful, revealing a purity of inspiration and intent.
Luke was so excited at parts that his onstage setup almost went flying a few times, and while the laptop backing tracks revealed a somewhat pre-scripted architecture to their songs — which they sometimes had difficulty following seamlessly — they were very graceful and humble about it all, being young and unjaded.
Let's hope they stay that way. This was definitely the best set of the day on day three of Rifflandia.