Review by Charlotte Lunt
Photo's by Stuart F Steele
An unusually laid back Wrongpop, still basking in the summer heat opened its doors for a menagerie this evening.
Walking through the sultry venue to the stage, Chien were masked as though ready for the gallows, but they were definitely not lambs to the slaughter. Their entirely instrumental set was dramatic and dynamic from start to finish, and flowed as though they were telling a story.
Like a carefully choreographed sword fight, there was precision and excitement throughout the set, with a musical argument of ripostes and counter-ripostes; each instrument was 'shouting' to be heard. Playing with the power of an orchestra and the suspense of a thriller there was an utterly contemporary feel to the performance. Although there was no interaction with the audience, Chien were incredibly evocative and compelling to watch, and have made definite steps towards performance-art with this set.
Werewolves on motorcycles put pedal to the metal from the moment they were on the stage. Their breakneck speed really pulled the crowd in, greeting them with their rock-edged music, and ‘for one night only’ an in-house dancer who at times was preying to the Werewolves God.
With intricate rhythms and an almost desperate momentum, their set was a short sharp shock for the assembled crowd. Their urgency on stage was demanding, and it was definitely attention grabbing. Playing to a packed house Werewolves took no prisoners as the crowd nodded along in a trance like state, and with this authority over the audience their set seemed to finish almost before it began.
As their final gig of a European tour and to shouts of “Welcome home” Ox Scapula were this evening’s nonchalant head-line. With a crisp delivery and a clarity and fluidity that I’ve not seen in previous performances, they bathed the audience in sound. It would be difficult to accuse Ox Scapula of being melodic, there is magnetism in their music, that may well take a while to draw you in but nevertheless it does.
As they presented many familiar tracks they also showed the technical precision with which they play and construct their music. Rather than demanding attention, Ox crawl under your skin and take up residence like an itch that can never be scratched enough. Tonight was a sublime return.
Werewolves on motorcycles