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|BLACKLIGHT: The Medics / Lunch Tapes / Pigeon / Boss Moxi|
Lightspace - Fri Nov 4
The promoters of tonight’s event describe the venue, Lightspace, as a ‘classy warehouse.’ Sheer white curtains adorn the walls and stage, candles cast flickering shadows and my friend (name withheld by request) comments that the luxury hand soap in the bathroom is worth $40 a bottle and she is considering relocating it to the interior of her handbag. From the very beginning, it is clear that this is not going to be your standard warehouse party.
Boss Moxi are the first of four bands this evening, they greet an initially sparse crowd with a sonic smorgasbord of bouncy psychedelic rock tunes and twin guitars soaked in delay. There are a few average tracks scattered amongst their better material, but songs like Esso and Hospital Drums are catchy enough to make this a memorable performance. Halfway through, the second guitarist switches to saxophone and their act really starts to pick up. The last few songs bring their set to an explosive, frenetic finish.
Pigeon are next on the bill, and their five members proceed to set up an impressive arsenal of brass, electronic and rock instrumentation. Essentially, Pigeon sound like The Knife jamming with the Happy Mondays in Ibiza in the ‘80s whilst watching Eurovision. The really appealing thing about watching this band is that you just don’t know what’s going to happen next. Their five members switch from laptops and synths to guitars and drums to brass and back again. The crowd responds to their brilliantly unpredictable performance with a frenzied display of raving and moshing, and by the time they pull Boss Moxi’s sax player onto the stage for a ‘sax off’, this has become one of the most outstanding local shows in recent memory. From this they segue into a bizarrely brilliant synth and brass cover of Phil Collins’ Another Day In Paradise with a quick cameo appearance from the iconic sax solo from Baker St. Watching this band play is 16 kinds of fun, and by the time they finish the crowd is soaked in sweat and smiles.
Announcing this is their final performance “as Lunch Tapes” I can only guess as to whether the band means they are planning a name change or undergoing some kind of superhuman metamorphosis. Playing a fun, energetic selection of loud ‘70s psychedelia-influenced rock songs, Lunch Tapes’ standout track The Thrills Of Being Young exemplifies their whole approach to performance: violinist Harriet Straker adding lift and energy to their sound, and lead guitarist Julian Holland playing some absolutely blistering licks. I look forward to seeing Lunch Tapes 2.0.
The Medics are the last in an extraordinary line-up tonight. Their four members (and their hair, which is collectively shaggy enough to clothe a small Alaskan village) don their instruments and begin. Their classic rock band line-up looks almost underwhelming after this evening’s selection of violins, trumpets, synths and saxophones, but they have an undeniably commanding presence. Somewhat reminiscent of The Temper Trap, they play a series of epics that ebb and flow from quiet, dreamy moments to soaring electric crescendos paired with ethereal vocals. However, the band sometimes gets a little lost in themselves, during one particular odyssey the audience performs that awkward ‘clapping at the assumed end of the song only to discover that there is another section’ two times over before the song eventually ends. Finally, a storm of drums and throbbing bass and strummed guitars brings the evening to a close.