(Or:- How I learned to stop worrying and love.)
I always write live reviews this way. Hunched over the laptop, eyes and brainpan burning from the morning sunlight, fingers poised over the keys waiting for the caffeine jolt to hit like a bolt of lightning and animate me into action on the previous night’s excursion. It’s different this time because gig and morning hangover haze are presided over through a fug of disease and cold. Ye gods you ain’t seen the Kosmik Deed until you’ve seen them while tripping off the scale on a frontal lobe and sinuses packed tight with pain concrete, or swiftly setting clay. Piecing together the photos, the awful pain and the raw interview recordings feels like decoding the contents of a Vegas hotel room on a nightmarishly bright Sunday morning. What the hell happened here?
|Kosmik James, freelance guitar abuse.|
|James and Omar in: Shred.|
|Kosmik Lu-His in his final form.|
What happened is the Kosmik Dead killed it at the Banshee. Sure, you could say they played a good one, whatever, but they didn’t just do that. The final day of April was the final day of their exhaustive euro tour. Exhaustive because they’ve been touring three new albums o’ course. All three you should really check out and that I have reviewed elsewhere. What they did was more than that though. Sailing a ship across seas of Buckfast Tonic Wine the band set a new personal best for high-speed psychedelia. Kosmik Lu-his appeared to totally transcend our corporeal plane. Kosmic Omar got cracked in the head by Kosmik James’ flailing guitar-destruction and Kozmik Jewlian kept up a radical pace, like Hawkwind’s sublime Shouldn’t Do That pressed on a 33 played at 45.
|[ ] offer their growly tribal contributions.|
Who else was there? Preposterously named Lightning Bolt imitators [ ] (pronounced ‘wawl’) and unlike their name, the sound isn’t so much arty self-indulgent obtuse wank, it’s stunningly jiving bass-and-drums workout as dreaded dreaded drummer Chris smashes up a storm on the skins. Glacier (who I missed on first) ruptured a drum skin, but I’d have guessed it was these two Aberdonian clowns shredding equipment.
|Buried Sleeper stoke the fire.|
The stomp and growl of Buried Sleeper’s solipsistic soporific stride nearly bowled me clean over. Testing the limit of human endurance with their elongated songs, to the point where the margin between one song ending and another beginning is almost totally arbitrary. Their hit neither the craziness of the Kozmik Dead’s closing hurrah or the bare-bones roughness of [ ], but Buried Sleeper hold their own lo-fi ground with their churning tumultuous riffs.
|Buried Sleeper have a touch of the barbarian.|
|Retune your soul.|
|Summoning ancient spirits and other refreshments.|
And so the Kosmik Dead. A life affirming, redefining set. In the sweaty, cramped basement of the Banshee their euro-touring Krautish freerock reached new caffeine schizoid heights; raw perpetual motion riffs transformed into spasmodic unconstrained dancing and undulating beats mimicking our own lives. Sometimes slowing, sometimes speeding up, sometimes waking up at the speed of light. It hooks into everything that makes music important to me, the affirmation of a whole way of life they helped create. The rhythm at is at once frantic and sedate, and isn’t the rhythm I have in my life right now. The coming together of people in a tiny space, a temporarily impossible state of a group of outsiders. The first row of faces reflected back towards the band in the glare of the stage lights. The very real feeling of transportation, the sense that our place in the universe has altered utterly since the beginning of the set, never to be reset, an easier leap to make than ever with the long-form spacerock of the Kosmick Deed, who play their rock in basements, at once gesturing towards the space so that we might turn our attentions to heaven.
The rock of the Dead is so unfiltered that it is perpetually in spin, it’s so raw that even the band doesn’t know what’s coming next and can only adapt with unfocused Darwinian riffage of their own in response. Unlike their spacebourne contemporaries, other Hawkwind botherers who seem to drift almost unnoticeably like the moon through the early-morning blue, the Cosmik Deed take off with the explosive aplomb and doomed destructive fire of a Saturn V. It begins as a tethered schwack of synth you aren’t sure you heard right because it hit you like a two-by-four across the jaw, and by the end a truly vast quantity of energy has been expended as the band doesn’t so much glide on the laws of physics but pummel them constantly into submission, until they finally do puncture through the atmosphere when parts of the show start explosively decoupling, Kosmik James flailing wildly away to himself in a frenzy of self-indulgent but ruggedly enjoyable guitar destruction; Kosmik Jewlian launching into spiderlike bounces from cymbal to snare in doubletime. Kosmik Lou-his almost toppling his keyboard/synth set up in his possessed dance. Throughout all the chaos, they never once lost the flow that holds all the Kosmic Dead to such a high standard. After all the excitement the Deed might be taking it easy for a while, if they find out what that means.
|Kosmik James T(entakill) McKay, Buckfast-fuelled guitar lungs of the Deed.|
Written under duress by Steven.