This was to be my first visit to the legendary Gothic venue Electrowerkz since Covid restrictions lifted – and this was the venues first hosting of a tour event after re-opening. Not only my first visit after Covid, but also my first since the death of Mak, the co-founder. There was a small queue outside when I arrived, and as I waited various members of the bands arrived outside too. It was an odd feeling stood outside, with my own kin, and a large picture of Mak hung outside, instead of seeing him in person. RIP Mak.
The event wasn’t off to the best start, the sound check hadn’t gone ahead as planned, and the staff seemed rusty and disorganised. The result was a 45 minute delay, which had one or two members of the queue becoming restless, eased by the allowing of entry into the bar area. Eventually we were allowed into the downstairs hall, and a few minutes later The Frixion arrived on stage.
A two piece electro band with a special knack of writing melodic, almost pop style tunes, but from the darkest places we all experience in our lives. It’s relatable, but very personal to the band – I like the style very much indeed. Gene Serene has a splendid tuneful voice, and Lloyd Price’s ability to provide bouncy electronic soundtracks blends together to provide something quite unique and very special.
Both are great to watch on stage, as well as to listen to – this was a great opener. Any promoters listening? They need to be heard more out there!
Black Light Ascension
Next up were a real favourite of mine, Black Light Ascension. They’ve been around a while now with their gritty style of mixing emotion, hard topics that are often uncomfortable to explore with electronics and a post punk style angular guitar. Once BLA arrived on stage I knew I was in for a treat of dark post punk grooves!
Andrew Trail provides vocals and guitar, and Hunter Barr takes over the electronics, programming and keyboard. Andrew looks such a cool dude, for all of five minutes, with his hair initially tied up – once into the first blast of his characteristic guitar playing his locks are flowing and untied! Hunter is equally as enthusiastic with his keyboard – I love to see such an enthusiastic player. From my vantage point as photographer I can see how busy Hunter actually is – very accomplished indeed (a fact often overlooked, must be frustrating at times being a keyboard player!).
They managed to provide a perfectly balanced mix of a set, delving into the back catalogue of their slightly stark, paranoid world. This was a fantastically good performance, at all levels. I must add BLA to my list of repeat must see bands, sometimes we all need a reminder of how good a band actually is.
Danse Society arrived on stage – their latest line-up is female led, with only Paul Nash on guitar from the original 1980’s line-up. Maethelyia is on vocals, Billy Bostanci on bass, Jonathan Housbey on
keyboards and Dylan Riley on Drums. It’s such a shame that this event hasn’t attracted a better crowd size, people in the UK are presumably still Covid cautious, bit I really did feel for Danse Society as the hall was noticeable less crowded than the previous two bands. It must be soul destroying for all involved – but the show has to go on.
Danse Society have matured into a different beast from which they started – their key ingredients are all still there, but with female vocals everything is somewhat different. They played a good mix of their new and classic songs, I must admit I have a soft spot for their newer material so it was good to hear tracks from their last couple of albums. All are very fine performers and they provided a truly inspired gig – just a shame it missed out on that all important atmosphere inducing element, a decent size crowd. All the same, even with a guitar string breaking episode mid-way the band was ultimately in fine form – just what the doctor ordered a fine dose of post punk gothic cool!
Love it, love it, love it!
Inertia have always been in the upper tier of live performers in my book, and I knew no matter what they wouldn’t disappoint tonight – and they didn’t. Reza Udhin is a whirlwind of energy on stage, dashing from side to side of the stage – how he and the equally energetic guitar player, didn’t crash together I must admit amazes me entirely!
The current line-up of Ollie Cater (Guitars), Andrew
Lowlife (Live Synths) and Blue Jigsaw (Drums) stands its ground after Alexys B left, and somewhat like Danse Society I must admit I do somewhat prefer the latter half of Inertia’s career. Having said that, please Alexys B, please come back to the fold! Anyway; the band more or less concentrate on the mid to late era tonight, so I was a happy bunny. I presume this was to coincide with the release of ‘Decade of Machines Volume 2 (2007-2017)’. They did puzzle me by including two covers in such a short set – perhaps their set was shorter than intended due to the late start? However as one was a
huge personal favourite of mine, I was content – it was Peter Gabriel’s ‘Games Without Frontiers’. The first outing for ‘Scowl’, the new single, was a welcome addition – a new track that is destined for my playlists.
Another sparkling moment was amply provided - I loved the moment that the guitar player leapt into the crowd, it just added another special memory in amongst the energetic frenzy! Not content with playing at the front of the crowd he mingled amongst us all – surely an impromptu decision! I loved it.
The whole set ranked highly in my estimation, Inertia are still one of the best and most aggressive bands in London – and I steal that quote from Gary Numan. Praise indeed, if ever I heard it.
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