Wednesday, July 28, 2010

Brasstronaut Rockets to Hillside Fame ('10)

As the six-piece took the stage I recognized Radio3 host Tariq Hussain on guitar duties, while I had seen the bassist play previously with Dan Mangan. They launched into Old World Lies opener, Insects with the deep rumble of the stand-up bass under layers of keys, electric guitar and filling out the "brass" section, a horn and hardcore clarinet. The clarinet player could be seen giving it his all throughout the performance, even while playing his electronic clarinet and especially when clapping it out with intensity.

They played a new, as-yet-untitled song that mixed electric and acoustic guitar before Hand Behind brought out Tariq's lap steel. Mid-set Requiem for a Scene made quite a scene indeed with an epic instrumental ending. Following this up were Old World Lies then Lo Hi Hopes, coming across much like the album versions and then some live.
Although it may not be the best song they've recorded Hearts Trompet received a grand treatment live, as the end of the song approached and the members played themselves off the stage one by one until it was only the lead singer and drummer remaining. As the drummer pounded away on his kit the singer doused him repeatedly with water from his bottle but it did nothing to hinder the percussion. It seemed like a neat way to finish a set but no one complained as they retook the stage to soar through a Slow Knots knockout to wrap up Hillside's Friday night festivities.

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