Live Review

Late Of The Pier, Arches, Glasgow

Late of the Pier have succeeded in creating their own musical world.

Whilst many young bands are happy enough to write songs to soundtrack the purchase of a Top Shop scarf, Late of the Pier have succeeded in creating their own musical world.

From communal living to the odd layout of their equipment (where they face each other rather than the audience) it seems this is a singular vision perfectly suited to the cavernous gloom of the railway Arches.

A bombastic ‘Space and the Woods’ opens this strange ceremony with a Numan esque synth ripping through the darkness. Much has been made of the Nu-Rave connection and whilst this is visible in the fringes and clothes of the audience, this does not come close to doing the live spectacle justice.

The run through of the fantastic ‘Fantasy Black Channel’ album highlighted the breadth of influences involved. ‘Bathroom Gurgle’ is reminiscent of the best bits of Magazine whilst the spectre of Roxy Music is ever present in the bouncy keys of ‘VW’ and the theatrics of ‘Heartbeat’.

Dementedly beating a set of giant woodblocks Sam Easton introduces ‘The Bears are Coming’ and his co front man Sam Potter gesticulates behind his vintage Juno synth as if he is on day release from Sparks. Faley bounces as he pumps out his rubbery bass lines and drummer Ross beats hell out of his ginger drum kit with each song winding the crowd further into anarchy.

Performatively Late of the Pier are suited to intensity and darkness, indeed having seen them live at recent afternoon festival, off the wall keyboardist Sam Potter announced that they only had one song to suitable to daylight which they intended to play 6 times!.

If there could be any criticism made of this band it is that their limitless imaginations could run to perversity, and you occasionally get the impression they have probably discarded countless catchy choruses at the expense of being obvious.

However these brightest of sparks have made my favourite album of the year and have played my two favourite gigs of the year and are still getting better all the time. It seems that the synth rock cape of Eno/Devoto and Numan has been passed down to Castle Donington and music is all the better for it.

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