Tag Archives: Rescue Rooms

Live review: 65daysofstatic

10 May

65daysofstatic played live at Rescue Rooms on Friday 7 May 2010

Reviewed for LeftLion.co.uk

After a day of looking more down in the mouth than a toddler who’s had her balloon taken away, having seen my idealistic political dreams pretty much stomped on for the past 20 hours and facing the prospect of a shiny-faced ex-Etonian, hater of skint folk and bullshitter extroardinaire, running the country in a few days time – without a doubt the best cure for my malaise was a hefty dose of very, very loud music.

As luck would have it, 65daysofstatic – generally credited with the ability to immerse their listeners in a sonic bath of sweeping aural landscapes whilst they beat your troubles over the head with a large stick – were in town and playing at the Rescue Rooms, and were clearly the perfect remedy. The set began with the stuttering, juddering beat of Drove Through Ghosts To Get Here, which felt as if it were dragging itself through mud with sporadic beats and jittery melody, as the band trickled on to the stage, before materialising into the familiarly solid flow of soaring post-rock that would continue throughout the next 90 minutes.

Seamlessly melding electronic elements with organic, they powered through a relentless powerful attack that took the audience from tempo-defying favourites like Radio Protector, to tracks from their new album ‘We Were Exploding Anyway’ which has taken them to dancier territories with elements that wouldn’t sound out of place on a Pendulum record. But just as you thought they were teetering on the edge of sounds that would sound quite comfortable next door in Stealth, they punched you in the ears with some guitar-led madness that threw you right back into a rock frame of mind.

The highlight of the night personally, was the epic Retreat Retreat; the track has long been my ‘everything’s going to be all right’ anthem (as I’m sure it is for many others), and I don’t know if it was me just being the sad git that I am, or the discourse of the past couple of days, but I must admit, it made me a tad misty-eyed.

For 90 glorious minutes that felt all too short, my worries were kicked into touch and drowned out by the epic, engulfing sounds of 65daysofstatic’s unique mix of rich textures, crazy beats, powerful guitars, hope and promise.

Memo to the British public: No matter how shit things get, never underestimate the power of great live music. If things look bleak, sack it all off and eff off down town to see some music – the floors will be sticky, the beer will be over priced and warm, but you’ll feel the bassline right between your ribs and for a short while everything will be amazing.


Reviewed: The Portico Quartet

8 Dec

The Portico Quartet played at Rescue Rooms on Wednesday 25 November 2009

Reviewed for LeftLion.co.uk

I unfortunately arrived just as the silver-tongued, honey-voiced songstress Nina Smith was finishing up her set, which is a real shame as after seeing her fantastic performances at both LeftLion’s Circus Extravaganza and the Hockley Hustle I was raring for more.

But I was lucky enough to see experimental jazz foursome The Portico Quartet on what was the last night of their UK tour, riding on the wave of their recent second album ‘Isla’. An intriguing and hypnotising lineup of double bass, drums, saxophone and a steel drum-type instrument called a hang, along with various electronic additions combined to provide the Rescue Rooms with some of the most encapsulating music to have drifted into my ears for some time. Delicate, intricate noises flitted across the stage whilst raucous saxophone shone through, delicious depths were reached by the hang and smoke drifted through the audience.

The Portico Quartet

Milo Fitzpatrick on double bass was extraordinary, producing unusual sounds that were difficult to believe emanated from an organic source as well as more traditional but no less beautiful backing. One of the most heartbreaking sounds on earth, to my ears at least, is a bowed double bass, which he delivered in haunting tones whilst it mixed with the lilting, undulating saxophone. The saxophone was manned by Jack Wyllie, who’s playing and improv was strikingly inventive and journeyed through ethereal and eerie to cutting prominence. Moving through complex time signatures and keeping steady yet interesting rhythms was Duncan Bellamy, who also strayed onto the glockenspiel to give the music a twinkling aura.

But by far the most unique element of TPQ, comes in the form of the hang – a tuned percussion instrument similar to a steel drum – played by Nick Mulvey. This gave the music a truly one-of-a-kind sound, the likes of which I doubt anyone in the audience will have heard before or since.

Perhaps the most enjoyable aspect of TPQ is that whilst they are an instrumental, experimental outfit, unlike so much modern jazz their music is inherently accessible to any music-lover and had the entire audience enthralled throughout their set; never before have I seen the crowd at Rescue Rooms looking so serene and captured for such a long show. With gorgeous moments of dissonance and hints of chaos peeking through a serene jazzy haze, The Portico Quartet are a group that are shattering the moulds and preconceptions of modern jazz and creating beautiful sonic sculptures with the remains.

Live review: The Swiines

18 Nov

The Swiines played at Rescue Rooms on Friday 13 November 2009

Reviewed for LeftLion.co.uk

In a thumping throwback to the glory days of 90s Brit Pop with deft brushes of modern indie rock, the Swiines took the stage at Rescue Rooms on Friday night.

The Swiines

Supporting headliners the Complete Stone Roses, their audience was initially thin on the ground as the sold-out crowd of Madchester fans drank, smoked and swaggered around outside in the beer garden. After one or two songs, however, they began to be drawn in by the Swiines’ driving rhythms, chest-beating bass and attention-grabbing vocals, and by the end of their set the Nottingham rockers had amassed a very healthy-sized rabble.

With a pounding mix of upbeat, sometimes fleetingly dark indie rock and intense energy they performed in the true spirit of classically British rock ‘n’ roll; no silly antics and no pissing about, just pure rock and attitude. Frontman Scott Bugg held the audience with agressive vocals and unfazed confidence, whilst frantic lead guitar cut through the reverb and the heavy, driving bass and drums. They had a pleasing air of arrogance about them that didn’t hint at pretense, which made them all the more enjoyable, but you could see a smattering of smiles flitting across their faces as they watched the room fill up.

Whilst it wasn’t a school night unfortunately I had to trot off before seeing the headliners, but I left with my appetite for rocking goodness well and truly satiated for the week by these swaggering, ballsy Swiines.

Live review: The Kull / The Cult of Dom Keller / Cuban Crimewave / We Show Up On RadaR

24 Aug

The Kull, The Cult of Dom Keller, Cuban Crimewave and We Show Up On RadaR played at Rescue Rooms on Friday 21 August 2009

Reviewed for LeftLion.co.uk

In an evening that exemplified why Nottingham’s independent music scene is so very impressive and varied, the audience at Rescue Rooms on Friday night were treated to a foursome of some Notts’ finest musical talents.

Kicking off the night were one-man-show We Show Up On RadaR. Playing a solo acoustic set, Andy Wright looked rather exposed up there by himself, but showed a charming vulnerability with tentative vocals, subdued guitar work and a drawn demeanour which became more animated as the set progressed. With whimsical subject matter (my favourite being a song about ‘a sparrow with manic depression’) tinged with a hint of melancholy, he captured and lulled the audience.

Next up was 3-piece powerhouse Cuban Crimewave. The first words I wrote about this band were ‘power’ and ‘energy’, and I was stuck with just those two for around 10 minutes whilst I tried to fathom just how so much noise could come out of one bass, a drum kit and a singer. With inventive, tight beats that make you get off your arse and pay attention, the most sound you’ve ever heard come out of a bass guitar and a writhing, mad-as-badgers singer, these guys are anything but standard. Every aspect of this small band stood out to make for an awesome live show.

Taking the stage next were The Cult of Dom Keller, who in total contrast to the previous two acts furnished the audience with a set consisting of only three songs of driving psychadelia chock full of reverb and feedback. Their long, intricate jams are the antithesis to the standard 3.5 minute song, and it’s not often that you hear music played like this anymore. Their set was intense, musically accomplished and slow-moving but certainly not laid back, and was technically complex without being self-indulgent.

Finally came The Kull, whose dark alternative music was the perfect closer to a night of such varied artists. With a dense line-up including three guitarists, their sound was rich and epic whilst maintaining an intricate feel with each instrument contributing distinct elements to the music. They were eerie, haunting and powerful with a tight rhythm section driving their set forwards, and dark without being depressing. There was a potent vein of angst running through their music yet it wasn’t melancholic – there was energy and abruptness throughout every song. An excellent end to an impressive night of local music.