Gig: DEXTRO / GALCHEN / URSULA MINOR / ELECTRIC BOY SHOCK (Glasgow Classic Grand 18/04/07)

Dextro’s Consequence Music LP is a modern electronica masterpiece, but like all artists in his field, translating that to the stage is not a straightforward thing. The monthly Peepshow night at the Classic Grand encourages bands to use a visual background utilising the venue’s widescreen DVD screen. Dextro cheated somewhat by using the classic movie Koyaanisqatsi as his. It fitted the music exceptionally well, though. Like most electronica acts, the bulk of the music emanated from a laptop, although there were live drums and melodica to beef up the sound. The result was a seamless half hour that consisted in part of music taken from the album and new (or old ) pieces. It was mesmerising stuff. The drums gave the music a trance-like feel that swept the listener away into a private aural world. Or maybe that was the beer at a couple of quid a pint.

There were four acts in total. Electric Boy Shock opened. The two girl, three boy quintet played a electro-rock set redolent of late period Jesus and Mary Chain crossed with Republica. At times it was dreadfully retro. The tunes were weak and lyrically as profound as Aerosmith on a bad day. The first two songs seemed to be about cunnilingus, but it was downhill into rock ‘n’ roll cliche from there on in.

Ursula Minor were marginally more interesting. A synth heavy quartet with a rough split of half instrumentals and half vocal tracks, they came across as a bastard cross between Spacemen 3 and Suicide. It was interesting for about five minutes but soon descended into tedium.

Galchen, though, were a revelation. Widescreen instrumental rock of the Explosions In The Sky / Mogwai variety, but with a major difference. The tempo was almost uniformly fast and few tracks breached the four minute mark. This was exciting stuff. Unusually for a rock band, the drummer was very much the central figure, with the others seemingly adding melodic colour to some furious stickwork. They seemed to take an age between songs, but when they were in flow they made a righteous noise. Post rock you can pogo to – a band I look forward to seeing more of.

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