Damiens the Regicide
Playing on the first day of April always offers the opportunity for some bedevilment and hi-jinx but both acts avoided any tomfoolery and concentrated on impressing the crowd that had gathered in a near fool Barfly. Yes, even if the bands don’t play for comedy, the rapscallions at the Mag can always be relied upon to make a bad joke or two.
East Kilbride act Kobai have been building up a reputation for their full on live shows, which are always populated by a strong army of fans. With a 6 piece act, at times allowing for a 3 guitar assault on your senses, the set was an upbeat and loud occasion, added to by the extra keyboard stabs or the cowbell ringing throughout.
As for the actual songs themselves, the opening tracks were quite rocky but as the night continued, the bands electronic sound came to the fore with comparisons to Primal Scream’s edgier electronic work not being too wide of the mark. Where Kobai fall down in these comparisons is with their lead singer, who at times fails to match up to the band’s sonic workouts going on behind him. This isn’t any great disgrace as the music is clearly the major element of Kobai. Perhaps the best example was during the instrumental last track, the band pushing home their use of feedback and extra percussion, allowing the strength of Kobai to shine through.
Following on from these electronical workings were headliners Damiens The Regicide, who upped the sonic soundscapes with a set that touched upon the Mogwai quiet / loud, thing of beauty / volume of Hell juxtaposition theme. With the beats coming through a combination of programmed loops and electronic drum pads, there was still an organic feel to the backing (well, as much as you can have through a purely electric set) and the music flowed easily over the top.
The bass lines rumbled and stepped constantly throughout, providing the basis for the lead guitars to thrum and throttle accordingly. A really pleasing aspect of the set was that the songs never overstayed their welcome. Bands of this particular style sometimes have problems in curtailing their wailing masterpieces which results in long noodling jams which, whilst fun at first, can be off-putting for an unsuspecting listener. Fortunately DTR never encountered this as their songs quickly set the scene and got to the point of their track, be it quiet and moody or a chugging rhythm affair.
On first listen it was an engaging set and, if some sound problems made the band’s interaction with the crowd unlistenable, the treated vocals throughout one of the later tracks worked extremely well and added a human element to the rest of the show.
Fans of Mogwai, God Speed or even the spacial landscapes of Kevin Shields would find a lot of joy in this band.
Guest article from Andy R.
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