As I arrived at the Stanley Theatre, a series of worries blighted me. Firstly, I worried that I had missed the support acts, as I was running late, and I also was worried that I wouldn’t be able to get in as Sound City gigs are ‘first come first served’ entry. However, at my arrival, all of these doubts were eased; as I walked in, support act SBTRKT’s technical personnel were setting up on stage, and there were sixteen people in the hall; literally sixteen, including myself.
Sbtrkt, coming to the stage covered by flowing locks of hair emanating from an intimidating African tribal mask, looked quite like a contemporary 6 foot totem pole. His set was particularly well thought out, with an even divide between his own productions and a fine selection of remixes and cuts from other DJs. His heavy beats were particularly impressive given the nature of the sound system in the Stanley Theatre, which seemed to have the quality quotient of the average iPod speakers. However, Sbtrkt battled through technical problems and crowd discrepancies to deliver a fantastic display of the ‘future garage’ genre that is on the rise across dance floors in the UK. Sbtrkt solemnly left the stage to a patter of applause from the minimal crowd, which had now raised itself to around thirty or forty.
However, by the time headliners HOLY FUCK took to the stage, there was a decent crowd gathered. An influx of punters had boosted the previously indistinct crowd to a respectable number. The Canadian foursome, fresh from the acclaimed release of their sophomore LP, Latin, took to the stage doused in darkness. Despite their immature moniker, they took to their task with a mechanical unity that was highly impressive.
As the crowd warmed to the band’s sound, so did the band begin to get into their stride. Despite the rapid nature of the band’s set, with minimal gaps left between tracks for applause, the crowd could be heard when greeting key tracks Lovely Allen and Stay Lit, as the band displayed their eye for a big sound early on.
Holy Fuck play instrumental music created by live drums, a bass guitar, keyboards and a sampler which created some glitchy beats which on more than one occasion strayed rather too closely to Radiohead’s Ideoteque. It can be quite hard to find a way to grasp a sound without lyrics to follow. In spite of that, their addictive and well administered melodies ensured that the crowd were given more play than work at tonight’s show.
Holy Fuck brought the night to an end with an epic five minute wall of sound, culminating in a Rapture-like funky break down leading to one of the longest and loudest crescendos that I have ever heard. This was the perfect conclusion for the night’s proceedings, as both artists left the crowd baying for more.