Think Manchester, think High Voltage. The night is as consistent as the rain, and as loud as the name suggests and tonight it’s throbbing…just like our battered old ears.
Laymar initiate the tympanic destruction, but they do it with grace and aggression in equal measure and its fucking stunning. Imagine taunting and berating Sigur Ros till the frustration and hostility of Masssive Attack emerged from their delicate soundscapes and you’re someway to making sense of Laymar. With front man Colin Williams letting loose a guttural whale of pant shitting proportions and a bassist that displays his bass little below the neck, you’d be forgiven for thinking you’d stumbled on a weird hardcore/jazz outfit, but thank fuck Laymar are far removed from any such suggestions. Broken beats, building to a wild flailing anarchy has never been as melodic and extravagant as this, and it’s with great regret that Gigwise see the lads shuffle off, and Jackie O shuffle on.
These Manchester stalwarts fronted by the enigmatic ‘Jackson Starfield’ cobble the streets and paint the town with Rock n Roll, but tonight the shades seem a little paler than hues of past. A more controlled Jackson swaps chaotic stagecraft for a roughly contrived performance, and for once the Jackie O spark misses the kindle.
Viva Stereo are what we’ve all been waiting for, with an album ‘Optimism Is Not A Curse’ that went widely and ashamedly unnoticed by critics the “electro…guitar…noise…beat…confusion” ensemble gather to prove their worth. And frankly WE are not worthy. Like a foetal Primal Scream suspended in the acid bile of Death in Vegas, they truly could be the new spawn to break the shackles of indie tedium. ‘Cabin Fever’ undeniably benefits (as do all tracks) from live execution as its impetuous rhythm gathers pace and blasts our last dangling morsel of eardrum into the ether. But Gigwise is happy, and as the Glasgow lads launch into ‘Jesus Son’ a small tear gathers at the thought of Viva Stereo nursing the death of The ‘Scream and cultivating babies of their own. Still yet a dream, but get these lads some decent producers for album two, and everyone embrace the boom.