Stuart Todd

16:14 23rd September 2003
Super Numeri

This event organised by Defcon took some time to get started. When eventually Zukanican finally came on it was well worth the wait. This freak jazz explosion is part of the Living Brain collective and have been regulars at The Brewery's for Dead Monkey nights.

ZukanicanThe group have two drummers, a percussionist/keyboard player, a bassist and a trumpeter. They could be described as a rhythm section's dream, showcasing solid rhythmic patterns. The bass and drums were often the central point to their sound, which was high on improvisation. Listeners may cite The Soft Machine and Captain Beefheart's Magic Band as comparisons. Their sound featured strange electronics but it was the rhythm section that remained the main focus.

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a.P.A.t.T were intent on not being outdone. Their sound was a disparate mix of styles that were often clever and inventive. Their music again comes out of the Zappa/Beefheart School, so this probably won't be everybody's cup of tea. Nevertheless it's refreshing to hear a real band who can play this sort of thing properly, not like some of the other so-called "Cosmic Scouse" bands who claim that the Captain is the bees knees. With these guys you can tell that they mean it.

aPAtTAfter the madness of the previous group, Psychedelic Jazz outfit Super Numeri finally took to the stage. It was late and the atmosphere was more chilled. This was an appropriate setting for their music.

Signed to Ninja Tune Records, the group released their eight-track debut album 'Great Aviaries' earlier this year. Described as a cross between Can and Miles Davis without seeming beholden to either, they've played a series of one off gigs this year, so their appearance in Liverpool was something of a rare treat. The line up, which often changes around, featured a harp player, two guitarists, keyboards and a rhythm section.

They opened the set with 'The Electric Horse Garden' a track, which opens the album and released as a single in its own right. It proved to be one of the highlights, effectively showcasing their ambient approach.

Although their set didn't have as much as subtlety as on the album, they replaced it with more intense playing. This allowed the rhythm section in particular to play with more force and passion. Overall they came across very clearly and effectively brought the night to a close.

Super Numeri will be releasing their new as yet untitled single in September.

Photos by Sakura Henderson

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