65daysofstatic, Chris Clark

Alex Worsnip 09/03/2006

“We've been coming here for years”, say 65daysofstatic, “and there's usually about 4 people. So it's nice to see you all tonight”. Indeed, one gets the feeling that 65daysofstatic's moment is approaching, with actual widespread recognition beckoning following their second album, 'One Time For All Time'. The audience here are committed, weighty and serious, and Chris Clark's set, which bears a certain resemblance to the headliners, playing up their Aphex Twin electronic influence but still heavy on noise, is deeply, deeply appreciated by some. For me, though, enjoying this support art is hard work that requires will, sometime that should never be necessary with great music. Though there's interesting sounds, it all gets self-indulgent, and at times the fluidity is surprisingly poor. At such, you just want him to get out of the way by the end.

But its 65daysofstatic that I'm here for, and its them that I care about. Their intricate, yet bombastically heavy glitch-rock can be glorious at its best, and having never seen them live before, I'm excited - they seem like the kind of band who would be incredible. And indeed, seeing their instrumental talent live is a thing to behold - the drumming alone is enough to mystify any listener simply as a sheer physical feat. The music, too, is at times wonderful - the brilliant 'Retreat! Retreat', their best record by far, the explosive, cathartic moment that you know it will be. At times they're joined by extra musicians supplementing their sound, and the aural power is considerable.

However, there's something in the relentlessness of it all that can lose you in the less stand-out tracks. Somehow they're not quite leaping out of the speakers - actually, they're not as loud as you might expect - and there's something that doesn't quite grab you. Nevertheless, closer 'Radio Protector' is everything you expect from a finale, with apocalyptic visuals and an environmentalist political message (albeit one that raises a smile when the closing credits refer viewers to the website of the atrociously annoying George Monbiot) backing up its musical power. They might not change the world, as this last gesture would seem to be looking towards, but they certainly shake it.