Ports of Call – the Khyber, Philadelphia Pa.

Philadelphia quintet Ports of Call work their shoegaze magic in a live set rich and haunting in harmonies with ambient vocals and lush in reverb. The band only recently got its start in 2007 when Tom Fleischer and Thomas Mosher (both formerly of Aircrash/L’Envoi) reunited and acquired House of Fire drummer Daniel Salerno.

Though writing came easily to the trio, they knew they still need something and began the search for a second vocalist. Enter Carolynne McNeel (also of Rarebirds, Grammar Debate, Roomtone and formerly April Disaster). McNeel, in addition to her vocals, tackles the keys, guitar and violin, lending to Ports of Call’s dreamy sound. The band is rounded out by bassist Stephanie Hesser (ex-Daymaker)who replaced Andrew Grossman following his departure after the recording of the band’s debut album Like Thieves

Ports of Call moves beautifully between psychedelic drugged out rock and dreamy pop, often blurring the lines between the two in ambient and experimental shoegaze. The turnout for their set at the Khyber on Friday night was wonderful and the crowd ate up every second of sound Ports of Call provided. Salerno’s drums drove songs forward, along with McNeel’s tambourine on a few songs, behind beautiful three part harmonies that walked the line of haunting and eerie.

The five played all but one song from Like Thieves, subbing in a new song, “Waterfall,” instead. Mosher announced that this new song will hopefully be appearing on a 7″ by the band to be released later this summer. “Waterfall” was faster and poppier than its predecessors, yet remained reverb-drenched and retained its elegant ambiance.

Ports of Call is an absolute must to see perform live. Currently, their next scheduled date isn’t until August 8th at New York City’s Rehab, but get your fill by purchasing the brilliant Like Thieves...

more photos @ flickr

Set List:
01. Here We Are
02. Claire
03. Honey
04. Like Thieves
05. Washout
06. Hermissenda
07. Aireals
08. Spirals
09. Quiet Tide
10. Waterfall (new song)

Ports of Call: website | myspace | buy Like Thieves…

[where: 56 S 2nd St, Philadelphia, PA 19106, Philadelphia Pa]


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