Tag Archives: Thirteen Senses

Thirteen Senses

The Zodiac, Oxford
8th March 2005

Imagine the agony: four Cornwall youngsters meet at college, find common musical ground, form a band, draw their songwriting inspiration from their surroundings, spend years crafting their sound, move to London and get signed – only to find a trio called Keane occupying their space in the MOR indie scene. Those Cornwallians are Thirteen Senses, and this story tells you most of what you need to know about their sound.

However, all this doesn’t mean that they should be dismissed immediately. Their piano-based similarity to Keane may not be deliberate, but an unfortunate coincidence. Their non-piano tracks nod towards Coldplay and Elbow, but again it’s probably not deliberate; just a case of growing up in the same country in the last few decades, drawing on the same influences.

Singer Will South directs proceedings, either from his Korg or guitar – roughly half of the set is driven by each. Will introduces their first top 20 hit, Thru The Glass, as one of their few “jumping around” numbers; it’s also the only one I recognise, and the most memorable – anthemic rather than delicate, positive rather than plaintive. New single The Salt Wound Routine, on the other hand, is string-laden emotion, and best just described as “nice”.

For the four of them, they do manage to make an assured, large sound; nevertheless, it’s evocative, like a soundtrack to a childhood, though any child involved might be a bit bored after the 15 songs played tonight. The way they repeat hooks and layer parts thankfully makes the flat melodies a bit more listenable.

One supposes that their debut album – The Invitation – is a grower, but I don’t know whether I’d be willing to investigate; my initial impression hasn’t really left me hungry for more.


From Nightshift, April 2005


Eskimo Disco, Trademark and Script – The Exeter Hall, Oxford – 2nd December 2005

Knifehandchop, Nervous Testpilot and The Nailbomb Cults – The Wheatsheaf, Oxford – 13th November 2005

King Biscuit Time – The Zodiac, Oxford – 25th September 2005

The Mission – The Zodiac, Oxford – 8th September 2005

Josh Rouse – The Zodiac, Oxford – 17th July 2005

Big Speakers, Flooded Hallways and Capsky – The Cellar, Oxford – 3rd June 2005

Melanie C – The Zodiac, Oxford – 2nd May 2005

I Am Kloot – The Zodiac, Oxford – 16th April 2005

Thirteen Senses – The Zodiac, Oxford – 8th March 2005