16th February 2012
First published in edited form in
Clash Music Online on 17 February 2012
In the week of St Valentine, love, or at least its less honorable cousin lust, is most definitely in the ether.
The stage is an equipment geek’s wet dream with synthesizer and effect pedal porn crammed into every corner. The front of the warehouse style basement that is XOYO lined with grown men visibly struggling to adequately divide their attention between their girlfriends and this vast array of metal boxes and flickering lights.
In fact there is so much gadgetry it’s a wonder any musicians can fit on the stage at all but fit they do as opening act, Glasgow’s Remember Remember squeeze six members into the tight knit space to provide the first 30 minutes interest.
And space seems to be the theme of their set with a suitably impressive array of ideas and musical variety compressed into such a short timescale. The result however is surprisingly expansive with swooning loops circling and building over a background of twinkly xylophones and primary school instrument box percussion. This is all fairly apt as the result feels like it comes from the soundtrack to a 1980s children’s TV mystery programme. It is a solid start to tonight’s Glaswegian takeover of East London.
After a short break (and more heavy petting from corners of the audience) the real objects of tonight’s affection, Errors emerge from the darkness and after some initial amp tampering, launch into ‘Tusk’, the opening track from their latest long player ‘Have Faith in Magic’.
It is the sound of a band feeling fresh and ready for action, with second track ‘Magna Encarta’ displaying a thrilling confidence in its live incarnation.
This comes despite the fact that Errors have had a fair amount to overcome recently. Now playing as a trio after last year’s departure of co-founding member Greg Patterson they have had to adapt and develop their sound accordingly. In a striking similarity to their oft-compared genre mates Battles, the overwhelming sense is that it is a process that has served them well.
Each and every one of the new songs is as good if not better than their previous record’s high watermark
The similarities end there though as Errors music is of a much more immediate variety than their New York contemporaries. The songs have a clear structure and for the first time vocals have been added to the mix with (tonight dressed as an indie Harry Potter) Stephen Livingstone offering up an extraordinarily majestic display that begs the question of why it has never been tapped into before?
The band are in good spirits too, joking with the audience about the lack of ticket sales until the last minute, with a confidence that belies the obvious relief of an almost jilted lover’s date finally arriving.
As is to be expected on a night where a band plays the majority of a new album the crowd really comes alive during fourth track, ‘A Rumour in Africa’. This, however, does a disservice to the new material as what is starkly clear from this rendition is that each and every one of the new songs is as good if not better than this, arguably the previous record’s high watermark.
Songs like ‘Cloud Chamber’ and ‘Pleasure Palaces’ veer from lush synth lines and loops into angular electro beats drawing to mind bands like M83 and Foals and which clearly owe much to the 1980s dance music development of New Order.
The result is something that sounds mature and uniquely individual
This is not to say that Errors do not sound like their own band. As the set ebbs and flows so too do the influences with obvious post rock heritage of mentors Mogwai clearly visible. The result is something that sounds mature and uniquely individual.
If there is to be any criticism of tonight’s performance it would be a sometimes over reliance on samples which has an unavoidable affect on the fundamental organic of the sound. In truth this can be easily forgiven as the sheer energy and diversity of sensory stimulation provided by the live performances more than makes up for it. The drumming alone is worthy of note with James Hamilton extracting an intensity of performance which is as powerful as it is metronomic.
As the set draws to a close there is time for one last bit of banter with the crowd seemingly still having smut on its mind. By the time fan favourite ‘Mr. Milk’ and set closer ‘Holus Bolus’ are finished though it is clear the emotions on show are of a far more faithful kind.
The sex is most definitely still present, but Errors have grown up and are ready for that more meaningful long-term commitment. On the evidence of tonight’s performance, this small corner of East London has fallen head over heels.
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Stumbled across this really lovely animation today (well I say stumbled, was put onto it by a certain Miss Ride!).
Quite apt as I’ve spent all morning working with circles in Illustrator.
Anyway it brightened my day and so I hope it brightens yours.
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