Wednesday, 17 May 2017

The Physics House Band - Brudenell Social Club, Leeds, May 8th 2017


"..attention to detail clearly evident as complex arrangements, sudden changes of pace, not to mention the boatloads of instrumentation, are all navigated with consummate ease..."


Once more I find myself at Brudenell for another midweek quartet of bands and yet again, there’s still change from a tenner in the admission price…bargain. Tonight’s line-up leans heavily towards the progressive side of the rock oeuvre, meaning any queues for the toilets will most likely be leading into the gents…….funny that. 

Pick of the undercard acts are reassuringly heavy grunge throwbacks InTechnicolour, sounding like they’ve just stepped off the film set of Singles, taking me back to a time when Seattle was the centre of the musical universe, as crunching doom-laden riffs are complemented with enough melody to keep the sea of nodding heads bobbing along to the thunderous drone. 

Penultimate act follows, Halifax’s super angular trio Wot Gorilla, presumably named after a little known 1977 Genesis track, and boasting their first new material in 18 months, as choppy chords are expertly spliced with fretboard gymnastics, taking the audience on more time changes than the speaking clock, yet leaving you marvelling at how tight the performance is; they must have been rehearsing these tunes to death for 1000 years.

Finally the trio of Brighton math rockers appear as The Physics House Band treat everyone to a bunch of new material from their fine debut album ‘Mercury Fountain’ including the frenzied ‘Calypso’, plus a few earlier EP tracks including the 10-minute opus ‘Teratology’. Buoyed by the return of the band’s missing laptop, combined with their Stakhanovite attention to detail clearly evident as complex arrangements, sudden changes of pace, not to mention the boatloads of instrumentation, are all navigated with consummate ease. Frontmen Adam Hutchison and Samuel Organ are seemingly pushing each other to even greater heights, with everything expertly underpinned by Dave Morgan’s fervent percussion. For a trio they make a splendid racket and the soundman is right on the money too as the sonic assault is crystal clear, the band’s sound veering from of Pendulum, Ozric mixed with ska and jazz overtones, at one point even veering into Eno-era Roxy territory as we’re joined by sax player for ‘Obidant’ and ‘Mobius Strip II’. 

There are worse ways of breaking up your working week.

Words - Mike Price