Tuesday, February 17, 2009

After silence, that which comes nearest to expressing the inexpressible is music

Sunday proved fun. I collected the affable S from his idyllic A38 hideaway and drove the fellow to Bristol’s Thekla venue for an evening of concert pleasure. The last time we saw The Secret Machines was three years ago at the fabled Bristol Bierkeller when they wooed and wowed a keen audience with a maelstrom of stomping alternative rock brilliance. They were on remarkable form at the weekend too. Despite having lost guitarist Ben Curtis a year or two ago, the three piece still kick up an unholy racket and their slightly noodly, slightly hypnotic space rock ticked all the right boxes for this punter. The chaps cranked it ‘up to eleven’ and belted out riff-led beauty after riff-led beauty. The support act, Filthy Dukes, was a superb surprise. You can’t beat three hepcats, backed by a riddimic big dude at the back on drums, crouched over keyboards and laptops twiddling knobs earnestly and banging out very loud electro-pop melodies that caused more toes to tap than one could conceivably count. Think LCD Soundsystem sprinkled with a dusting of Krautrock and dusted with a sprinkle of 1980s joie de vivre. They were marvellous.

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