Battles at the Electric Brixton
Experimental rock group Battles were back at London’s favourite nightclub, Electric Brixton, for an explosive performance. After starting with a string of EPs, the band have since released four studio albums and many more EPs, creating a name for themselves in the prog rock field.
Slowly easing the audience into the music, Battles played their famous opening song Dot Com, starting with Ian Williams’ chords and systematic melodies on the keys, and the occasional dirty strums of Dave Konopka’s guitar. The crowd were already captivated, nodding their heads to the methodical beat. Cheering enveloped the intimate room as acclaimed drummer John Stanier took to the stage. Each and every heavy kick and dynamic hit trembled across the venue, filling everybody with an urge to dance.
Showing off their funky side, Battles performed the happy Ice Cream for the eager crowd. The stage, comprised of the three musicians themselves, was overflowing with passion and concentration. From Williams’ impressive one-man-band vibes with his guitar, keyboards and synths tilted all the way back, to Konopka’s constant messing about with his collection of pedals and effects, the display was just as exciting as the music. Whether it was recent hit FF Bada from their latest album La Di Da Di or older track Futura off of Gloss Drop, the energy in the room was constant. With not a smartphone was in sight, the audience were here for the music and nothing else – a rare but beautiful sight.
Hitting it old school with IPT-2 and Hi / Lo from their debut record, EP C/B EP, the off-beat drumming, looping melodies and spine-tingling compositions had the whole venue in a trance. Stanier’s awe-inspiring drumming was taken to a whole new level as he began hammering the high hat and slamming the ridiculously highly-placed ride cymbal. Between the harmonious singing and chanting from the audience and the neverending tracks, Konopka and Williams took turns introducing the band and cracking jokes. Finishing off with fun tunes Summer Simmer and Atlas, the steady beats and addictive riffs turned the audience into a hypnotised mosh pit.
The encore was expected, as nobody there wanted to leave. Back on within no time, Battles performed oldie B + T and an audience favourite, new hit The Yabba. As the show was coming to a close, the liveliness and vivacity were only escalating, bodies dancing with no care whatsoever, the band playing louder and faster, and the crowd’s admiration for Battles higher than ever before. Talented, vigorous and entertaining, Battles are a must-listen for anyone looking for something a little different.
Photos: Guifré de Peray
For further information about Battles and future events visit here.
Watch the video for The Yabba here: