sex as a foreign language

awkward aural adventures

Deathray Trebuchay/ Acoustic Ladyland @ The Borderline

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The best bands transport you into a whole new world, stretching forth their welcoming arms to coax and entice you into their unique universe. East London’s Deathray Trebuchay displayed themselves as grandmasters of this transportational wizardry whilst whipping up a rabid frenzy from the stage of the Borderline.

Tonight those hot, hot people at Twisted LIcks have taken a sojourn away from their usual East London base and brought together for their latest sensational night the visceral combination of Acoustic Ladyland and, as thunderous support, the aforementioned Deathray Trebuchay. Stepping inside from the snow infused rain that lashes the London Streets during the depths of winter into the sweat sodden bowels of the Borderline is like walking straight from some frozen meat locker into one of those schoolboy experiments where hapless youths re-imagine the rainforest inside gigantic glass bottles of yesteryear. Through ferocious heat, Deathray drummer Guy Wood, a shirtless whirling dervish, gives tumultuous foundation to the proceedings, hammering his snare with bombastic glee as showers of moisture sate the air. Deathray Trebuchay concoct a terrifyingly cosmopolitan crossbreed of styles. Fusing gypsy rock, samba, punk and straight up jazz into a sort of thrash-mariachi for which the word infectious is a mocking slight.

Completed by Horn trio Alan Hardiman, Jim Slade and Ryan Jacob, bassist Spencer Brown and ringleader, master of festivities and creative hub Llywelyn ap Mirrdin, the band come across like the onstage party that Iglu & Hartley wish they were. It’s a devastating scene, at once fluid and free but with as much intensity as you would find anywhere on side two of a choice Miles Davis cut: chaos refined. Songs such as Seb Rochford produced single ‘Number 6’ and ‘I’m Gonna Kick You In The Ass’ fly by in a blur of madcap dancing, screaming and chanting. In a recent interview Llywelyn said he had imagined himself looking out over a crowd from the foot of mount Sinai as they chanted “Death Ray, Death Ray, Death Ray Trebuchay!” The surroundings tonight are a little more intimate but witnessing the faces of those exhaulting the chant back at the band leaves no doubt that they have disciples rather than fans. See this band in a sweatbox near you and see them now!

After the jubilation of Deathray Trebuchay it’s easy to be a little wary of Acoustic Ladyland’s ability to live up to the expectation, but as they take to the stage such thoughts are quickly dispelled. The relationship between the two bands is an interesting one. The dynamic is one of the goodtime cousin (deathray) to the reclusive genius (Acoustic). Consisting of the core quartet of Pete Wareham on sax, guitarist and new addition Chris Sharkey, bassist Ruth Goller and legendary Seb Rochford the band spend this evening previewing all the music from their freshly completed new album. It’s a unique insight into the band’s future. Taut, flexed and sinewy rhythms fly forth, as songs like ‘Cuts & Lies’ and ‘Red Sky’ unveil themselves. More oppressive than Deathray, Acoustic Ladyland delve into angular recesses before exploding like a chrysalis shedding butterfly into rolling, free falling bursts of sax delight or squalling guitar, switching from hypnotic dub to squalling whiteout noise passages in a heartbeat.

It makes for a compelling ride and the band’s set is over before you even notice it has really begun. An aural black op where every note seems like an eon but the set finishes before you realise what has happened and unveils itself in your memory over the following days, they manage to expand and contract time before your eyes, and fleeing back into the sodden murk of Tottenham Court Road you feel a sudden ache in your stomach as the urge to time travel again starts to kick in.


Written by Jonathan

March 9, 2009 at 3:24 am

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