Vancouver’s Big John Bates is the ringleader of the Noirchestra, his fire-breathing guitar powering a chamber-punk circus with dark energy. They create a textured, cinematic sound with instruments that vary from organic drums to orchestral contrabass to digitally manipulated violins. But the group truly shines live, where these charismatic personalities are undeniable.
The Norchestra’s chamber-punk image and wild show came naturally, as they have been ripping up stages across Europe, North America and Japan since 2012. The band is under the influence of sounds as diverse as PJ Harvey, Jack White, Nick Cave, 16 Horsepower and even psychedelia – mixing Americana with distortion, modulation and intensity.