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Anthroprophh+Big Naturals/Gnod/Giant Swan (live at The Exchange)

3 February 2013
The Exchange, Bristol


Giant Swan were first up, a duo plying a lush clamour of harsh ear schisms that materialised into gristlised  rhythms, a lot of box teased goodness to soak up. These boys certainly knew a thing or two about the art of bending circuitry. Loops and pick-up burrs literally ear danced in textural plugholes of echoed vox, resurrected in scars and sycamore incisions that wavered from slithering invisible points, suggestions of words playing in your inner ear – I swear I heard dildo o-o-o-o-oh-ing in all that fedback tourettes

Having seen Gnod a few times now, I was half expecting a nomadic instrument showdown; slightly huffed to see my favourite head merchants had opted for a completely electronic persona. Needn’t have worried though, the resulting sounds didn’t lose any of that psych(ed) Gnodness, as the row of metallic slabs and flashing diodes plied a MDMA dub fallout of snappy crocodile percussions and flare pistolled delights. A mind-melded ‘Jagger jabberin’ flowed over the top, vocal repeaters churning the illuminated waters up nicely, firing the neurons further. This was a glorious dayglo gloop where the barest of rhythm held together a many-headed  beast of differing routes and perspectives.

A multi-sided journey that ate into your head between strobe flashes in chunks of swaying righteousness until all objectivity was lost to a disease of swinging bodies. Quite a short set though, after two 15 minute dabblings Paddy Gnod asked whether there was any time for more… ‘5 minutes’ came from the desk, to which he exclaimed (surrounded by infectious laughter ) ‘we can’t do nothing with that!’…

The headliners Anthroprophh and the Big Naturals provided a powerhouse of a finale to the night. A real racket from three fellers: Gareth alternating between bass and drums, Jesse relentlessly smashing the fuck out of the skins, whilst Paul (sporting a mightily fine Brain Records tee) added shrieking crow Beefhearts, noodled guitar stabs and sloshy oscillatories. The combo was an awesome one as your ears ate up those Jesus thorns and knotted pleasures. The distorted guitars sardined into the higher registers, the bombing drums and morphic shrapnel smashing the canvas in sweeps of insane driven energies. All those snaking effect rabbits shimmering on an unstable horizon… quite a storm that left my ears in a cellophaned afterglow.

-Michael Rodham-Heaps-

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