There’s a huge black and white face blu tacked to the wall in Strangeways Studios Unit 3. Ernest Hemmingway, I’m reliably informed. You could draw tenuous symbolic links between its vaguely Orwellian presence, the proximity of Her Majesty’s Prison Manchester and ‘The Current State Of The Music Industry’, if you were that way inclined. As we’re all friends here, we can skip the poetic postulating – there’s also a sign next to the ‘bar’ advertising the vast choice of Red Stripe and it’s fairly safe to say that has no literary relevance whatsoever – and arrive at the point where Bernard + Edith commence proceedings.
If you haven’t already heard about the décor down at the Führer Bunker, then look up someone else’s comprehensive description. As a building, it is singlehandedly reviving the umlaut’s sinister undertones, which in recent years has graced the names of yoghurt products and other non-threatening things. Kevin McCloud would have a field day. It provided the setting for the first outing of Egyptian Hip Hop Nick Delap’s side project. There are incense burners. There’s a candle in a beer can. It could be a metaphoric juxtaposition, but more plausibly, candlesticks are difficult to come across in the back and beyond of Salford. It’s miles from the nearest Ikea. Greta’s vocals, (presumably the ‘Edith’ of the partnership) rasp and writhe their way around a set of intricately beautiful oddities.
Regal Safari are second on the Führerliste. Remarkably, they came all the way from Brighton, which is Britain’s first and only Green Party constituency. Ironic, because of the amount of energy consumed by their sizeable collection of synthesisers, laptops and assorted technology. Lack of eco credentials aside, they create psychotropic tainted webs woven with dance beats and indecipherable vocal loops.
By the time GREATWAVES are on, it’s evident the machete gang that prompted the emergency cancellation of the last Bunker gig isn’t going to show. It’s alright; it’s probably not their cup of tea anyway. GREATWAVES do languid music and anodyne vocals. As ever, there’s art-house propaganda projected on to what could be a bed sheet. Recently a French website – crudely interpreted by omniscient Google Translate – says guitarist and singer David De Lacy “multiplies the size of vibrant compositions and hits minds” they also think it’s a “spirited immersive eventually plunge the listener into a kind of dream aqueous left to drown completely”. Je suis d’accord.
In the same way that no Orwell references have been or will be made, we absolutely will not say that GREATWAVES ‘blew everyone out of the water’. It just wouldn’t be appropriate.
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