This gig had been due to take place last November, but was one of a run of shows postponed after bass player/singer Mike Kerr went down with tonsillitis. Thankfully a break over the festive period seems to have reinvigorated Kerr.
From the moment the spiraling intro to early single Come On Over sparks up, the sold-out crowd ignites into a sizable moshpit that rarely lets up. With only a Mercury Prize-nominated debut album to the duo’s name, the whole thing, plus a B-side, gets an airing, albeit in a shaken up order.
They’re not much for crowd interaction – Kerr only speaks once to introduce his comrade-in-arms, drummer Ben Thatcher.
But there’s a thrillingly primal nature to their music – with Kerr playing his bass like a lead guitar, and Thatcher’s fluid drumming - whether it’s in the leering Little Monster, or the lurching Ten Tonne Skeleton.
The set reaches its climax with a frenetic Loose Change, and a fuzzed-up, feedback-heavy Out of the Black.
Towards the end of ...Black, Thatcher steps out from behind his kit to mount the barrier at the front of the stage, and the punters obligingly go crazy.He resumes his position for the song’s frantically messy finale.
Forty-five minutes , no encore , and they’re done.
As the old adage goes, leave ‘em wanting more, and with the pair due back at Portsmouth Guildhall in March, they certainly did that.
Here’s hoping they can write some new songs, fast.