Wow. Just wow.
Oceansize came, we saw, they certainly conquered.
A hungry and packed crowd tuck into a delicious and well received appetiser from the fabulous This Town Needs Guns (thanks to a monsoon in Londinium and ensuing traffic nightmares, I sadly missed the first support from the normally spellbinding yndi halda).
They are ridiculously good. Technically good. And some.The multi-tap,slide, air-tap sorcery of the guitar leaves ones jaw well and truly dropped. Ok, it could get a little repetitive, but in this cogent and economic set, it just leaves you wiping your eyes in disbelief like a cartoon drunk with a brown bag o' booze having just seen a giant mouse in boxing gloves.
The sound wasn't the best however, shy of top end on the vocal, sections of songs sounded a bit muddy; but, thankfully it really didn't affect the overall output. This lot should be going places. Thoroughly enjoyable, energetic but self-effacing and terribly polite. And loved by the enthusiastic and appreciative crowd who looked like the assembled creative departments of all of Shoreditch's web design or games developers on a mass evening out.
A worrying thought fizzed into my Jagermaester-addled noggin box though; weren't they a bit similar to Oceansize? Would we notice the difference (trade-mark guitar noodling style notwithstanding)?
There was no need to worry. None at all.
Mike and the boys kicked off with gut-grabbing and brain scrambling bombast. The monster opening riff of Part Cardiac rocked the Koko to the core. Beautifully played with enough deviation not to be a slavish, dot-for-dot rendition of the studio album version. This is real, raw and brilliant music. Heavy? At times. Intricate? You bet. Emotional? Infinitely. The set gathers pace, passion and involvement from the attendant Shoreditch battalions. Old favourites are liberally mixed with new tunes from the excellent Self Preserved As The Bodies Float Up (must be the best album of 2010).
The beautiful Music For A Nurse brings the house down. It's spine-tingling harmonic opening is met with tears and cheers. Sublime.
The set is beautifully constructed and cleverly contrived to muss with just about every internal organ, body part and section of the brain. By clever shifts of complex time signatures, technical brilliance, soul and raw energy, this lot push their crafty hands inside you, pull, push, squeeze and stir up all the gooey bits and occasionally pull out their fists to deliver mighty blows. You're left feeling sick, hurt, soothed, seduced, bullied and generally fucked around with. And I absolutely love it.
After Ornament/The Last Wrongs fades ethereally into the moist humidity of this fey and beautiful venue Mike Vennart wanders back on. Noodles with his tuning a bit and the lads launch into a 10 minute version of the haunting and spectacularly beautiful Women Who Love Men Who Love Drugs from the excellent Effloresce long player. The crowd melt yet again and as we finally file out into the dank and shiny London air the final refreain is being whistled and hummed by all and sundry.
Genius. Just genius.
Talking of which, here's a bit of fun, Proceed's cover of a Kelly Clarkson tune great fun....
More tunes soon. Bwoooar.