Wednesday, November 19, 2008


"Live music and animation bleeding together in a contemporary vortex of psychedelic sight and sound" anyone? Well just 'Clinic' would have got me there. 'Clinic' plus 'The Deaf Institute' made it a must. And if the evening didn't live up to the extravagant billing, the gig itself was well worth the trip.

The support was Threatmantics from Cardiff. They are a three piece (drums, guitar and viola) that combine a dirty, pounding garage-rock with macabre drones and tense vocals. Easy to see why Domino have signed them (their mini-album came out a few weeks ago) and why they are supporting Clinic. They may have a name drawn randomly from a bag of Scrabble letters but definitely worth taking time to listen to. I picked up one of their vinyl singles Sali Mali which included this sketch of the band. Says it all really.

Earlier this evening, I had shown Daughter 1.0 and Daughter 2.0 the Clinic video If You Could Read Your Mind. They enjoyed the magic tricks initially but once the vocals kicked in they got bored, stopped watching and started searching You Tube for Alesha Dixon on Strictly Come Dancing. Rock music is wasted on youth.

Given the strong and imaginative visual aesthetic in that video I had high expectations for the gig. But the 'award-winning' animation by Clemens Habicht was frankly a let-down and best glossed over. This may have been partly where I was standing - close to the front and so looking up at the band, rather than taking in the whole - but it just failed to make any impression. Ah but the music ...

Delivery is always no-nonsense at a Clinic gig and this was no exception: minimum of chat, no fannying about, all the effort on the exceptionally well-drilled playing. Each time I see them I am staggered at how good the playing is - the drumming and the variety of rhythms, sounds and percussive effects knocks me out each time. The set-list covered huge ground - from early singles like IPC Sub-Editors Dictate Our Youth and Monkey On Your Back to six songs from the latest album Do It! plus a superb performance of Distortions (my first time hearing it live).

Tonight's outfits: the obligatory surgical masks plus loose fitting and open-necked cream shirts with an embroidered front section. Fetching.

Remaining tour dates here. DO NOT MISS OUT.

And The Set List:

Funf [BUY]

Do It! [BUY]

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