New Blood Festival 2012 - Night Five Reviewed
Mark Murphy checks in with the New Blood Festival, where "an infinitely better-looking Mark E Smith" is hypnotising the crowd into a rock 'n' roll ecstasy!
It’s the fifth night of the Artrocker New Blood festival and what a tasty mash-up of sampled beats and post-punk noise it is.
Openers The Caulfield Beats give the more punctual among us a swollen earful with their Crystal Castles-esque 8-bit blip-tronica.
This is proper party music; ideally heard in a sweat- moistened weekend club basement at midnight. On this cold Wednesday evening, the crowd appear a little lacking in enthusiasm, but the band stay focused: these guys are pros.
Severin is another electro-flavoured boy/girl duo; only these two mix distorted digital rhythm-tracks with serrated guitars for an altogether darker feel. Once the ominous bass samples punch through the PA, the band sounds positively seismic.
By the time riot grrrl meets future-pop foursome Vuvuvultures take to the stage, the venue is pleasantly heaving. Singer Harmony catches all eyes wearing little more than spray-on black jeans and conveniently placed strips of gaffer tape. Her voice however, is as captivating as her daring look; by turns fearsome, brooding and delicate.
The band are tight as hell and rip through their repertoire of excellent tunes, from the deserves-to- be-massive ‘Safe Skin’ through to the kick-ass chunky riffage of ‘I'll Cut You'.
And finally there’s the brutally uncompromising post-punk rollercoaster they call Manflu; unmissable thanks to the fizzing on-stage musical chemistry between its five members. Frontwoman Aza is a formidable stage presence, ferocious and intense, prowling and ranting like an infinitely better looking Mark E Smith.
Their set reaches an astonishing climax with ‘Tek’, a 10 minute explosion of 80’s space synths, propulsive Krautrock and a rhythm section that simultaneously bludgeons the crowd while making them dance like bastards. The blasting strobe light makes the shape-throwing band members look like stop-motion characters in a rock & roll nightmare. Needless to say, everyone present is blown away.
THE NEW BLOOD FESTIVAL CONTINUES THROUGH JANUARY
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