My habit of writing lengthy gig reviews often means that I don’t have the time to do some shows that I attend justice, so, this new Click Click series will hopefully mean I get to write more about the gigs I attend.
Click-Click: 001: ded.pixel: 13-April 2018
The Cavendish Arms, SW8
Full photo set
In effect, the idea is simple. A short, capsule review of the show, and a set of photo highlights (the rest will be on Flickr as usual).
So how was last night?
The venue was a new one on me, but it appears to be a well-used local venue, with a good-sized backroom for live music (and surprisingly good sound, too, when the bands got it set up properly). The turnout wasn’t bad, either.
The first band, Munchies (I didn’t get any photos of them, sorry), were a young trio – guitars, drums/laptop and vocalist, who had lots of ideas but didn’t appear to have quite found a balance of them yet. There were certainly some impressive moments – and at points the battery of guitar effects reminded me of space-rock titans Failure – but they really need to do two things. One of those is to sort their sound balance out, as the electronics were all-but inaudible, and the other is to focus their sound a bit more. There’s definitely promise here, though, and I’ll be looking out for them in future.
An overabundance of ideas seemed to dog Radium88, too. There was an enormous amount of kit onstage for just a duo, and it appeared to me that most of it was being used at all times. The endless variety of sound was maddening, though, particularly on one track that had a tuned Saw and a lovely piano motif in tandem to provide a melancholic, pretty atmosphere, but then a synth hook barged it’s way in that sounded like it was about to kick into The Prodigy’s Out of Space. There very much is such a thing as too many ideas, and this was proof.
The find of the night for me were a deeply unusual duo called tAngerinecAt. A duo that play synths and some kind of small flute-like instrument, there are vocals…oh, and a hurdy-gurdy. No, really. Their use of folk instruments sets them apart immediately, but the only band I can think of that are even remotely like them are Heimataerde, and even they wound in folk and medieval influences into their sound in a totally different way. The thing is, there weren’t folk bits and industrial bits, the duo have genuinely managed to weave the two disparate sounds together, so that they complement each other, and even when the beats started sounding like :wumpscut: at their best, the hurdy-gurdy sounded amazing, and wasn’t drowned out. They play again at Cute Owl and Noisy Fowl Festival on 19-May, and they are well-worth checking out.
I was actually at the show in the first place to see an old friend play under his ded.pixel moniker. Rather different to previous musical work Rhys has been involved in, this is space-prog-electro, and on record is very much rooted in the prog side of things. Intriguingly the guitar and bass that accompanies Rhys’ keytar and synths means, in the live environment, that there is a very different dynamic at play. There was fist-pumping, anthemic moments, there were moments where elements of futurepop bubbled through to prominence (particularly the last track), and remarkably there was even a Philip Glass cover (a radical take on Koyaanisqatsi, if I wasn’t mistaken). The other fascinating thing was Rhys as a frontman – treating this small venue like it was a much larger one, and perhaps their big, expansive sound deserves a bigger room (and maybe with fog and dramatic lighting). If prog makes you run away, come back – this is better than that.