Friday 18th March 2016
Review by Demitri Levantis
Throughout the ages, there has been many an urban legend of UFOs, alien sightings and other strange goings on to prick our curiosities and ask the anxiety inducing question: ‘Are we alone in the universe?’
Crop circles and weird flashing lights in the middle of nowhere come to mind when we picture the oddball occurrences in the science fiction world – but when was the last time you heard of such an event taking place right at the heart of a capital city?
Yes, the omniscient question of whether humanity is alone in the cosmos was brought in for questioning once again on Friday 18th March, when a group of devout music and sci-fi lovers from the Institute of Contemporary Music Performance gave us their second club/concert evening.
Mother Promo had put on a first show several weeks back and were ready to rock the planet out of orbit once again with their Mothership of an evening.
The Good Ship in Kilburn, not too far from the ICMP was quite the appropriate venue for the evening, being a quaint and homely pub with a stage area just big enough for a local student night (or more appropriately a meeting of extra terrestrial representatives of numerous dimensions).
But this was more than your average student night as it began showcasing some raw local talent in the shape of EIRA [4/5], an obscure young specimen who had mastered the arts of piano and songwriting.
Alone on the stage, EIRA offered some soothing and comfortingly confessional tunes relating to the ups and downs of modern life – something appropriate to start such a cosmic evening, for our curiosities are what send us into wanting to know what is out there and what will we as a human race become in the future?
She also played a good rendition of ‘Space Oddity’ in memory of David Bowie, the man who fell to earth. A beautifully delivered piece of poetry in motion, given a fresh lease of life with all the right piano chords and vocals.
Next up we had something a little closer to earth: Alternative Metal act Novacaine Nothing [3/5]. According to their website, the band started out in the far off realms of Canada and eventually moved across the ocean to the green and pleasant lands.
This was a band who took influences from all across the milieu of popular metal music from the last 15-20 years, employing the use of clown masks and roaring on with breakdown based tunes about the everyday problems and taboos facing any music lover who just wants something more than average.
With a name like Novacaine Nothing, one was expecting a Stoner Metal group, but one can only presume the title is ironic, as it might reference how drug use might feel like some gateway into another world but it’ll inevitably leave you nowhere. Then again, one can name quite a few sci-fi geniuses who employed the use of such narcotics to create the finest of their works.
Anyway, the band was impressive. It was good to know they could pull off a convincing performance with their second guitarist arriving only halfway through the set. But the only criticism was how frontman Jason Leung looked as if he didn’t want to be there performing before the crowd. Either that’s part of the band’s act or he wasn’t on top that night. Still a memorable performance nonetheless.
Then, it was time for what had to be the highlight of the entire evening. Disoria took to the stage. A one woman avant-garde, electronic project featuring a being of beauty unmatched by any earthling. A being whose compaction contained crystals unbeknownst to any human crystallographer.
Disoria could not be rated, for this performance stunned everything in one’s path when it came to reviewing such an intensely original and mind blowing performance. Along her travels to our dimension, Disoria had employed the works of two faceless dancers who had choreographed what can only be described as personification of how the mind, body and spirit adapts to new settings when crossing into regions unknown.
A build up was made and eventually the whole stage came to life with Disoria’s spine tingling vocals and the works of the dancers bringing a whole new feeling to the night. Not of melancholy or sadness, but a feeling of what it’s like to experience every dream sequence cooked up by film directors like David Lynch in the space of 30 minutes.
No time one has spent under the influence of narcotics was like this performance – and the use of guest vocalist Liv Patton added a wider range of longevity to a group so young but so full of ideas and originality.
It’s a shame Disoria could not stay long, for she and her entourage retreated back to her home dimension leaving many a viewer spellbound. This is an act you must see live to believe.
Quite an impression had been left by that act so the crowd was in need of something a little more down to earth, no pun intended. That calling was then answered by Alternative Pop act Kosmic Troubadour [3/5] – another act who seemed quite wacky and original.
Tune after tune of funk mixed with classic and contemporary pop music wafted here and there around the venue as band overlord Percy Sheppard delivered his repertoire in a sense that reminded one of Pink Floyd with Syd Barratt at the helm. As colourful as a rainbow on ketamine, Kosmic Troubadour were another stand out act of the night.
And finally, the evening was brought to a close by another young human act: Aria [3/5]. This was the solo project of a young London woman which has been spotted and praised by the likes of NME and Popjustice.
At first I felt reminded of opening act Eira but this act made more use of electronic instrumentation and the young lady’s vocals resonated over the beats reminiscent of acts like College, Kavinsky and reminded the author of the film Drive several times.
For any kind of alien invasion to hit the UK in recent history, this was certainly the most colourful and creative. Several DJs saw the remainder of the evening on into the early hours so all punters were left more than satisfied.
One must congratulate the young promoters from ICMP for organising such a memorable evening and breathing such breathtaking creativity and originality into the space of five hours. An excellent job all round to all humans and extra terrestrials involved in this night.