Date: September 26th, 2013
Venue: Thekla, Bristol
Support: The Physics House Band / sleepmakeswaves
It’s the end of a five date jaunt across the UK for 65daysofstatic, and awaiting them before their departure to Europe is a sold out date at Bristol’s Thekla venue. An elderly crowd has their calculators primed and at the ready for an evening of math and post-rock goodness.
Opening the show are The Physics House Band (***), who prove to be decidedly complex. The Brighton trio bring a sound along that begs for a non-lensed spectacle wearing hipster somewhere to proclaim that it’s “probably something you wouldn’t understand”. They dare you to keep your feet glued to floor as nerdy rhythms and overenthusiastic keyboard playing breaks out. Set closer, ‘Abraxical Solapse’, has apparently been played on BBC Radio 1 (despite being incorrectly named) and it’s a solid tune that will surely set TPHB off on a moderately successful career.
Entering a stage more cluttered than a university lecturer’s study are Australia’s sleepmakeswaves (****). For a band with only one album to their name, a world tour must be applauded. Impressively bearded bass man Alex is in charge of mild smalltalk with the audience in breaks between pounding post-rock that threatens to explode the brains of bewildered onlookers. Sounding like And So I Watch You From Afar in places, there’s a lot of energy communicated via songs like ‘To You They Are Birds, To Me They Are Voices In The Forest’. The 30 minutes that sleepmakeswaves have don’t last long, so it’s probably best that they don’t take the time to name every song they play or they might never play a note.
Every time you witness 65daysofstatic (****) live, you experience something different. In such a cosy, intimate setting as Thekla, 65dos seem friendly and nonthreatening, and that sets the tone for the music that is played. Beginning with songs from new album ‘Wild Light’ that receive light applause, faces really start to light up during older songs like ‘Piano Fights’ and ‘Install A Beak In The Heart That Clucks Time In Arabic’. Mid-set, however, the pace slows to a crawl with the sleepy ‘The Undertow’ and aptly named ‘Sleepwalk City’.
The excitable Joe Shrewsbury darts between words and notes, joking (?) about making out with every person in attendance before complaining about toothbrushes that clean your tongue. 50 minutes in and via a series of technical shenanigans, 65dos play a perfect trifector of tunes, beginning with latest tearjerker ‘Taipei’, flowing into the energetic ‘Retreat! Retreat!’ and closing with fan favourite, ‘Radio Protector’. The night is ended with the final track from ‘Wild Light’; ‘Safe Passage’.
It’s always very difficult to find information about 65daysofstatic, but what we do know is that they will not stop touring until their bones physically prohibit them from doing so. In the rare lyrics of ‘Retreat! Retreat!’, they will not retreat, this band is unstoppable.
Written by MG Savage (@MGSavagewriter)