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Acid Mothers Temple (live at Corsica Studios)

Corsica Studios,
London
17 November 2011

I’ve probably seen Acid Mothers Temple play at Corsica Studios more times than any other venue in London and they always seem at home and relaxed on stage here. This I’ve sometimes felt is quite odd, as Corsica feels like one of those venues that is struggling to find its own identity. It caters for the Hip crowd but also puts on a blistering psychedelic commotion like the Acid Mothers. As always at Corsica when AMT are on the audience tonight is split right down the middle with its tie-dyed space travellers in blessed-out freak mode rubbing shoulders with the stroking beard hipster crowd. Tonight though, we were all about to witness two hours of space rock mayhem that makes Kawabata Makoto and the band so special.

Acid Mothers Temple live can sometimes be a complete assault on the senses with a wall of freaked out fuzz. However, tonight they decided to try and give the audience a taste of their wider pallete. The opening was rather subdued in its cosmic loveliness with Higashi Hiroshi’s deep space synthesizer screaming out across the void while the bass made deep throb undulations. Soon the drums and guitar kick in with power and we are in take off. Some of the tracks played tonight were shorter and tighter than I’ve seen AMT play before, almost hinting at a more garage rock sound. Yes, “Baby Pink Lemonade” was there in all its planet-building glory, however, tonight we were given a slightly truncated version than that played on some of their previous live outings.

Tsuyama Atusushi‘s bass playing was superb, coiling around the tracks like a serpent and slippery in its fluidity. At times he played aching beautiful patterns not attempted by most live bands. Shimura Koji’s drums filled out the tracks with steady beats and fantastic fills. Whether behind his keyboard or playing his guitar Higashi Hiroshi looks on with an almost aloof bemusement like some Sadhu who has found enlightenment in a cave in India. Kawabata Makoto’s guitar sonically sends you astral travelling, whether it’s from the high piercing lead, his grungy chords or his blissed-out gliss, his showmanship is amazing. Tonight we are treated to two guitars being set fire to and smashed before the end of the set. It’s no wonder their ‘shopzone’ is packed with stuff to buy as destroying guitars every night must get rather costly.

All too soon it comes to an end and it hardly feels like the band have been playing for two hours. The dry ice begins to clear and people shuffle out amid the smell of lighter fluid and kicking their way past bits of broken guitar. If you have not seen Acid Mothers Temple live it is certainly a sonic experience that you must try catch on their next tour. For now though my ears will continue to ring until the next extraterrestrial experience.

-Gary Parsons-

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