Live at Cockpit on Friday, 11th June 2004
Leeds 5 piece Infrasound kick things off with the aptly titled "Fire in the City." Bringing the Happy Mondays' penchant for funky beats and mixing it with the earnest pounding of the Walkmen if only fronted by Ian Curtis, the band produce a nice line in giddy space epics.
Their confidence can clearly be seen in the demonstrative lyrics. "You may walk on water, but we will bring you to your knees," wails John Walker, before the Six By Seven monster harmonies literally devour the vocals. Sounding insistent and demanding live, the simple and punctuated drumming helps lift the style, while the falsetto vocals provide welcome relief from the updated Brit-pop indie.
Sadly however, not all the songs can justify Walkers' Gallagher swagger and stare. Although filtered vocals and a myriad of elctronica sweetly counterbalance the thick chugging riffs, their generic style begins to grate towards the end, providing little variety or musical evolution.
The ubiquitous slo-mo build up, followed by an orchestral wall of electronic squall, all played thunderously loud, does get the foot tapping in earnest. Yet, as they stroll off to a wall of extravagant feedback, this hasn't been the performance they thought it was.
Whoever said dance music is dead thankfully didn't tell the Kasabian. Using the Roland 303 synthesisers and processed beats that gave Chicago house its distinctive and much emulated sound, the Bristol 4-piece bring a louche rock'n'roll swagger to dance music's latest sibling.
All impressively couiffered and tailored, the bands beats easily match their sense of style.
Mixing four to the floor funk, Monkees harmonies and King Monkey posturing Kasabian's second song sounds like a warped take on the Grange Hill theme tune, with the drug addled Sammo nodding like the Churchill dog in the background. Elsewhere, "Reason is Treason" sees the temperature rise several degrees, with the sweat laden fringes nodding in obvious agreement.
The real highlight though come with set closer "Clubfoot." Sounding twisted and dangerous on record, the hurricane force melodies and howling harmonies threaten to decimate the Cockpit. Their Gang (of Four) attitude brings a real D.I.Y. punk ethic to their amped up Death in Vegas dirge, marrying Josh Wink's frenetic beats and Primal Scream's invective in a shotgun wedding.
Forcibly driven underground, dance music has re-invented itself in dark, dingy yet vibrant dens of funk, punk and importantly passion. Long live Dance Music.