In ancient Roman religion, the Vestals or Vestal Virgins, were priestesses, goddesses whose College of the Vestals was regarded as fundamental to the security and success of Rome. The Vestals were freed of the usual social obligations in order to devote themselves to the study and correct observance of state rituals that were off-limits to the male colleges of priests.
We may not be in ancient Rome but the world has once again been blessed with the presence of The Vestals, albeit in the form of a five-piece indie-pop combo from South Wales. Once again though, they appear to have been freed of the usual social obligations of ceding to the constant demand for information and facts, devoting themselves instead to the music and letting that speak for the band.
So steadfast are they in this belief that singer Adam (no surname, ” you don’t need to know that, you just need to hear the songs” he says) will not yield, even during a face to face interview. ” We are not like, deliberately mysterious, but we just like to let the music do the talking” he reiterates when we sit down following a storming set at the Norwich Arts Centre. The band has been on tour with Pure Love and Turbogeist and, though you would presume they’d attract a very different kind of audience, their blend of energetic indie-pop has been going down a storm with Adam a young Morrissey/Brett Anderson hybrid at the front of the stage.
Even during a live performance they divulge no secrets to the crowd, performing in half light that makes it difficult to determine what they look like. It is the promo shot at the top of this article, with blurred faces, in real life. Aside from Adam, who will man the merch stand after the set, the band is able to walk by unnoticed. ”We are just comfortable playing with those kind of lights. We think they look nice. I don’t think it’s that important to see us; just the songs. The songs you can hear. It’s just the way we like it”.
What we do know is that the guys have been together since at least 2011 when they originally released “Perfect Pain” online, but they ”took it down after a week because it was moving a bit too fast for us”. Having come together originally just to record that song they have reworked it for release on 7” through Killing Moon Records as a double A-side with the equally wonderful “Seventeen”. We know too that the guys have been in bands before and, after a few shows last year, mostly around Wales, this is their first tour as The Vestals.
Live they perform with a controlled energy, you can’t quite tell if some of their rocking out moments have been coordinated or if they are occurring naturally but there is no question over the quality of their music. They specialise in a blend of melancholic yet rocking pop music, all infectious hooks and jump-along choruses that should be blasting out of bedrooms the length and breadth of the country.
That surely is in their future, a future they say they are happy to let come to them. “We spent last year recording a lot of music, so there is a lot of material ready to go” Adam tell us. ”We just take each step as it comes really so we are really excited for this single and then I am sure we will release more songs and play more shows, that’s the plan”. Which of course just adds to the mystery and intrigue. We don’t need to know about the future, just enjoy the music we have at the present, let’s not get ahead of ourselves.
Whatever the future holds, there certainly seems to be big things ahead for the band. Time will tell if they go down in legend like their ancient Roman namesakes.