MAYBE it was just as well the temperature was so sweltering in the Ironworks 2 room for ABAGAIL GREY's album launch gig last week.
It was perfect practice for their American trip.
Warmed up by the bubbly presence of This Silent Forest and his obliging 'Do you want a cover or original?' policy, the three girls of the group looked summery in their green and red frocks.
And it turns out the songs from the new album Apple Cherub Dove work perfectly on a summery April evening. Much lighter and brighter in subject and melody, the new album even offers its own foray into disco with Ice Disco and "disco dancing on the moon" on Painted Lady.
But for anyone who misses the dark, brooding slightly sinister quality of some of last album Long Case Clock Suspension, Pike is one to enjoy.
The set also offered the odd look back with first album favourite Butterfly an easy highlight of the whole set.
On a first listen, stand outs from the new album material seem to be Icicles, Christmas song The Winter Bee and the album's title track Apple Cherub Dove.
Just as whimsical and undefinable as ever and that's a good thing the addition of the Duplets on harp and trumpet (Fraya Thomsen) adds something you're unlikely to hear in almost any other band.
Fraya's muted trumpet in Laughing added to the song's sadness.
And another triumph on the night was encore song The Flame with drummer Greg Barry adding a completely different dimension on vocals. MC