Live Review: Meshuggy’s 4th Birthday w/ Deerhoof, Wave Machines and Indica Ritual, The Kazimier

Posted on 11 December 2009
By Amy Roberts
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Meshuggy’s 4th Birthday w/ Deerhoof, Wave Machines and Indica Ritual.
The Kazimier.

We do love a good birthday piss-up, groove-off and tonight in the grand c-c-c-cold surroundings of the too lovely for words Kazimier club, local music promotions saviour Meshuggy turns the grand old celebratory age of 4.

There’s plenty to celebrate – in those 4 years Meshuggy has been responsible for some of the finest shit-hot mental, brain-buggeringly wonderful gigs to grace Liverpool. Maps and Atlases, Battles, Animal Collective, Health, Nina Nastasia, Fuck Buttons, Dananananaykroyd and Blood Red Shoes have been promoted and plonked on for our aural, physical, demonstrative pleasure over the years, and that fact in itself is worth raising more than a dozen rum and cokes up to.

Tonight’s line-up, too, is unsurprisingly fucking killer. Yes, it’s so cold before opening act Indica Ritual take to the stage that there’s nearly an audible hum of teeth-chattering and jittering bones. The greatest advice to surviving the Winter din however is to either take a lover and hibernate in bed with them for the foreseeable future, or go see Indica Ritual live. People soon pile in out of nowhere, and Indica’s personal brand of high-revved, spasmodic pop fuckeries soon builds a damn hot furnace out of your own heart.

With David Byrne-esque vocals laced with mischief-synth, razor skip guitars and heart-bleating disco drum thrashings all tenderly pulverizing each other into some serious brain-schism pop genius mini-masterpieces, Indica are THE perfect warm up band. Limbs twitch, smiles abound and the cold soon fucks off.

In particular songs Arrest On The Leisure Deck and Seamless Ejaculation make you bloody happy to be alive. Simple as. Their live show should be prescribed to treat the blithering and endless nasties of everyday life – if you were to concentrate it into liquid form it would be sought the World over as the ultimate hangover free intoxicant.

By the time Wave Machines take to the stage, the crowd is full and pepped up. There’s overheard grumblings prior to their entrance that the crowd has already seen too many sets of their be-masked, indie-disco-jive stylings for the whole experience to be as enjoyable as they’d like it to be. The set, however, remains incredibly fresh throughout and goes down a. fucking. treat.

A pared down and frankly heart-arrestingly sweet version of You Say The Stupidest Things opens what is an incredibly passionate and tight set. The crowd becomes a swarming and jittering personification of an accolade – beaming around at each other, keeping the drinks coming and dancing in that restrained way that us cool kids often do – all head, shoulders and knees, always leaving a 2 inch circumference around ourselves with which to inefficiently but effectively move in.

Any restraint that may have been lingering in the gig-populace’s dance etiquette soon goes out the window when Deerhoof arrive on stage. The equivalent of being seductively fed Jelly Babies by a fist to the face (which, depending on your sexual agenda, could be incredibly seductive), Deerhoof are by turns adorable, frightening, chaotic, challenging and charismatic as fuck.

Singer / bassist Satomi Matsuzaki is the cute as a button juxtaposition to the rest of her bands unpredictable, juddering soundscape. At times blissfully melodic, at others incredibly experimental and lunatic positioned by contorted time signatures and achingly raw distortion. They sound like the lobotomised fragments of a Japanese musical genius’ brain hooked up to an amp and left to let rip.
The crowd goes ape-shit. Synchronized on-stage bunny hops and mid-song band member revolvings resembling the rotating fighters on the ‘pick your fighter’ menu screen of video games past, supply the set with an acerbic and charming presence.

There’s always a danger with a band like this of such distinctive sound that the mid-set can grow tiresome and samey, but tonight they get the balance perfect – book ending the set with their noisiest and most baffling and filling the rest with some high-octane melodic loveliness.

Random ramblings supplied by shit-hot drummer Greg Sanier taking the mic in the brief breaks between the set sees him drawling on impressively into a stream of consciousness about Iggy Pop and God knows what else, somehow managing to also put the spotlight on tonights DJ, Ellis Samizdat, and thanking him for playing some amazing fucking tunes.

Bless. And high fives to you sir.

The set ends with Matsuzaki climbing up onto an above-stage terrace and conducting a disjointed dance routine resembling something out of an air-traffic controllers handbook, mic in hand, vocals sweetly sparking out above a most spectacular din.

Amazing. Amazing. Amazing. Amazing.

A fittingly fit spectacular evening responsible for more than it’s fair share of hangovers and post-boogie limb crampings – and worth every minute of it.

Happy Birthday Meshuggy – and keep em comin’.


Indica Ritual:

Wave Machines: