Adrian Cooper has been unwell

Old reviews that are no longer available online, or from sites that no longer exist. The pen is dead, long live the camera.

Tuesday, July 05, 2005

Fleece & Firkin, Bristol

Imagine the sort of music that would have accompanied early editions of Tomorrow’s World, analogue keyboards and drifting guitars, painting a picture of a future where expression has been stripped down to it’s basic counterparts and a chemical formula exists for every feeling. Now imagine the band that would make this music, holed up in their studio, labouring away to produce just the right bleep, the perfect whirring noise. Now look at he stage, for that band would appear to be Broadcast, modelling the finest retro-futurist look, as dated yet timeless as the instruments before them and the music that they’re playing.

Only something’s not quite right. For a band so concerned about the failings of producers that they built their own studio – and then had to delay the recording of their album while they learnt how to use the equipment – they seem to relish the opportunity to play live. In fact, they create a claustrophobic wall of sound so powerful and enticing that the audience look on in wonder as Broadcast prove themselves to be the Stereolab that you can’t dance to – even if ‘Papercuts’ does lead a few brave individuals to at least try to do so – and ‘The Book Lovers’ even manages to raise an enthusiastic cheer before proceeding to rattle the walls and ruffle your hair with it’s heavy bass. ‘Come On Let’s Go’ holds all the style and sophistication that St. Etienne carelessly threw away when they first mistook kitsch for good taste, while ‘Lights Out’ lends a cinematic feel to proceedings, as Trish’s voice grows in stature though out, awash with emotion, until we can all feel her sorrow and resignation.

Finally ‘Hammer Without A Master’ allows them to build themselves up for a glorious finale, drum sticks are stuck into fretboards, an oppressive metronomic time signature echoes around the room and everyone in the crowd loses themselves in Broadcast’s new found majesty, transfixed by the cacophonous climax. If you look carefully at Trish once more, you can almost see tapping her heels together, almost hear her whispering “there’s no place like drone, there’s no place like drone, there’s no place like drone”.