Nov 2013 15

Elektrowerkz, London, UK, 2013/09/28

 

It’s an event that has been brewing for awhile now, gaining its momentum via the dedicated e-zine sponsors, fuelled by the commitment of its organizers, and like a sonic pandemic spreading through the industrial community and the social media. First announced all the way back in February, with Uberbyte headlining, the show seemed all but lost when Sheffield’s finest pulled out. Thankfully, the already impressive roster of up-and-coming genre natives found the foster siblings in the shape of Italian duo XP8, now permanently residing in London and assimilated effortlessly in the support of the Static Distortion’s event. The Best of British unsurprisingly found its home in the concrete bowels of Elektrowerkz where there was much to be proved that night but also much to enjoy. ReGen Magazine was there to witness it all and has the pleasure to report on the evening’s industrial extravaganza.

 

The night opened suddenly with little warning or the sense of lethargy that often plagues those first, initial moments of many a show. Digital Deformation exploded onto the scene in the splendor of raw whizz of distortions and angry electronica. Confidently lead forward by vocalist Matt Powell, the relative newcomers provided an immediate and infectious opening that brought the arriving individuals to the front and kickstarted the event with undeniable vigor. Although much of the material might have sounded novel to those unfamiliar with the catalog of Static Distortion Records, Digital Deformation set a high bar for those to follow in the footsteps.

 

Though Seamus Bradd walked onto the stage alone there was no denying him neither the charisma nor the audience’s warm applause. His solo debut as The.Invalid garnered positive critical reception and it was indeed spectacular to witness the crowd sing along to tracks that are yet to imprint themselves upon the shared dance floor consciousness. The lyrics of the fantastically melodic and bouncy “Breaksequence” and “Cry Wolf” echoed through the room and Seamus’ illness stricken vocal chords were rescued by the chanting crowd. The.Invalid showcased a wonderful fusion of emotional vocals and club friendly melodies that relied less on proven blunt and heavy beats and more on thoughtful hooks and precisely arranged electro. The quality of Aesthethic of Failure translated into a great set that like that record slowly brought Bradd off the stage and into the crowd – from a riveting display of energy, through melancholy tones, back to the energetic bounce of songs like “Overstep” or “Quantify.”

 

Without a break and totally unstoppable, Seamus was then joined by Dayve Yeats and his Cease2Xist that unleashed a fury of EBM rhythms, merging both acts together and providing one lengthy set that challenged the stamina of all gathered industrial fans. Cease2Xist won the crowd easily with the trio of musicians dominating the scene, laying a not unconventional but certainly winning combination of aggro attitude and musical weight. Yeats and the band kept themselves in high spirits with liquor changing hands between the front of the audience and the musicians and the intensity of their performance reached overwhelming highs long before the anthemic “Occupy Everything” urged everybody to shout and riot.

 

XP8’s arrival felt like a natural extension of sounds and conventions that had the listeners bouncing throughout the night and by the time the set of the Italian duo faded out, it seemed obviously apparent that the band was a perfect choice for the headlining act. The latest record proved to resonate with the gathered audience; powerful waves of orgasmic electro swept the listeners as the biggest hits from this year’s Adrenochrome confirmed, yet again, XP8’s penchant for crowd-pleasing club tracks. “Information” proved every bit as intense and sensuous as the album version, while “Night Run” escalated the tempo, engaging everybody on a primeval, physical level. With Marko Resurrection constantly balancing on the edge of the scene, Marco filled the background with visualizations and video clips from XP8’s archive, their synergy culminating time and again in classic songs like “Burning Down” or “Muv Your Dolly” helping to track the decade of the band’s activity and providing fans with their beloved material and all uninitiated with the genre’s mainstay club fodder – as catchy now as upon its initial release. Could one argue, though, that the most enjoyable of performances that night belonged to the listeners chanting “Happy Birthday” to Marko? Like the other acts of the evening, XP8 transcended the sometimes rigid boundaries between the audience and artists effortlessly and helped shape the night into the memorable experience worthy of a follow up.

 

And speaking of the follow up, kudos go to those responsible for the night’s lineup and without revealing too much, the gig’s mastermind Steve Fearon is already preparing his next industrial assault. If Best of British proved something beyond any doubt, it is how close to one another industrial artists and listeners can be, how defiance of nihilism and pessimism fills the scene, and how committed to their music and ideas they are.

 
Damian Glowinkowski (DamienG)

 

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