Banjo or FreakoutEdit this event
Health at the Chameleon Nottingham 21-04-09
Photo by Toby Price
For a clubnight steeped in such chaos, debauchery and general mayhem, it is something of an achievement that Nottingham's Liars Club managed to sustain itself for six months, let alone six years, which tonight's birthday-related event happens to be a celebration of. Nevertheless, having been at the cutting edge of the local music scene all that time - Bloc Party, Franz Ferdinand and Klaxons are just three of the many artists whose inaugural shows in the city came via the club night - the expectation levels regarding quality control are understandably high.
Never ones to adhere to strict music policies, tonight's billing of three experimental noise acts could go either of two ways, and after openers Maria & The Mirrors disappointing "art for art's sake" scree, the omens don't seem too promising.
Fortunately, the delectable musings of Banjo Or Freakout lift proceedings well and truly above the status of just ordinary. Alessio Natalizia is like a modern-day amalgam of Sonic Boom and Martin Rev. Certainly the reference points to the likes of EAR, Suicide and Fuxa's more abstract moments are apparent, while the addition of Gentle Friendly's Daniel Boyle as a live drummer adds a rhythmic, if slightly sombre trance-like edge to their non-categorical sound. Four parts krautrock, one part shoegaze and the rest made up of an eclectic range of loops, samples and effects, Banjo Or Freakout are quite possibly one of the most mesmerising, and undoubtedly unique outfits currently surfing the block.
For tonight's headliners HEALTH, there's a genuine sense of anticipation. For a self-proclaimed "noise" outfit, their surprisingly sumptuous dalliances with tune and melody make for an unpredictable, if slightly confusing cocktail on record. In the flesh however, they really are a frantic collision of nascent destruction and sonic inventiveness. Despite early problems with the sound, the opening two drum salvo from Jupiter Keyes and John Flamiglietti is an eye-opening, ear shredding warning to the senses, and from that moment on, their discordant visceral laments tear strips off most of their contemporaries, not to mention the detractors who dismiss them as nothing more than white noise copyists.
They leave the stage, hair and sweat coagulating over broken guitar strings and ripped drum skins. Those of us left standing are enraptured, as they're anything but fake plagiarists or one dimensional racketeers. Detractors beware.
Photo by Toby Price
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