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Boredoms / Alexander Tucker (live at Shepherd’s Bush Empire)

London 29 May 2006

Alexander Tucker (click for larger image)Drones, reedy and thin, waft out in layers of rolling minimal bliss. They increase dutifully in number and density until the Empire is suffused with them, Alexander Tucker switching pedals and setting up loops of harmonic intensity, nodding like a monk at prayer into his devotional music. The huge bass tone which emanates from his acoustic guitar is a wonder to behold, though from further away than right at the edge of the stage his indistinct vocals are lost somewhere in the shining miasma.

At first, Tucker’s set sounds like it has been made in software, machine shop Blues generated without melody or rhythm: and then they arrive at last, inhabiting the stoned territories mapped out by the likes of Spacemen 3, with flittering moments of Comus-like cod mystical tripout soundtracks for movies yet to be made

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Lightning Bolt (live)

The Garage, London 18th May 2006

In a Garage not exactly rammed to gills for a sold-out gig, Lightning Bolt – positioned as ever in a corner on the floor instead of taking to the stage – open their set with a looped low fidelity rhythm which soon wavers into loudness sliced by stabs of tuning-up sounds. An emergent chug struggles foal-like into unco-ordinated yet groovesome earshot, and given the amount of time they let the process continue, it’s certainly one way of building up anticipation. Such is Lightning Bolt’s cult status that even a jack plug interjection is greeted with eager yelps from the crowd, so when they actually lurch into a double-tapped frenzy of skronk bass guitar and flailing drums, the tension is pitched towards a cathartic release.

Live or on record, Lightning Bolt’s ethos seems to bo to take riffs and rhythms and worry them beyond death

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