The professional bit:
Two years on from the breakup of Gorkys Zygotic Mynci, former leader Euros Childs continues to plough his gently idiosyncratic furrow. Seemingly impervious to the normal aging process, his demeanour remains cheerfully relaxed, and his solo material continues to blend whimsical pastoralism with understated tunefulness.
The Dodos have been steadily gathering critical acclaim since the release of their remarkable second album Visiter. Their music is both brutally primitive and impossibly complex, with drummer Logan Kroeber the undisputed star of the show.
In place of a standard kit, Kroeber pounded out his dizzyingly syncopated rhythms on a semi-circular set of four drums, balancing his breakneck tempo with an extraordinary lightness of touch, and displaying a technical accomplishment which frankly beggared belief. (*)
Over to the left, a seated, floppy-fringed Meric Long added plaintive indie-boy vocals, sometimes using two microphones to build looping effects. His equally unique guitar style combined bottleneck blues and oblique thrash, providing a mesmerising counterpoint to Kroeber’s ceaseless energy.
Meanwhile, Joe Heaner drifted on and off the stage, alternating between an industrial-sized glockenspiel, an ancient miniature organ, a giant cymbal and a vast, ugly-looking metal bucket.
Veering between rapturous applause and stunned silence, the uncommonly attentive audience lapped up every note. (**)
The amateur bit:
(*) In actual fact, his drumming technique repeatedly brought Adam and the Ants to mind, circa Kings of the Wild Frontier, and particularly the intro to Antmusic. Lots of rimshots, and virtually no footwork, save for a tambourine attached to his left foot. Oh, and can we say CUTE? All lean and moustachioed, like a baby-faced Brandon Flowers.
(**) As my friends found out after the show (getting their posters signed while I chatted to Euros about his connection with Kevin Ayers), the band initially mistook our reverential silence for icy indifference. “We thought you weren’t into it”, they explained. “Then we realised: actually, you were just really into it.”
Luckily for us, this lead to them adding an unscripted second encore (despite the drummer making reluctant “tired” signs at the singer, as well he might) – which turned out to be the most spectacular performance of the whole show. How the hell these things even get composed in the first place, I simply have no idea.