Drowned In Sound Live Review Of 65daysofstatic
There’s magic in the air, but we’re just not receiving it as clearly as we should be. Perhaps it’s the heat, or the buffeting DiS receives every other second as some attendee or other bundles his or her way to the conveniences, but something about this evening’s performance from 65daysofstatic doesn’t quite click. They’re playing at the end of a charity all-dayer that’s witnessed some great sets from an array of up-and-coming indie-rockers and more experimental acts alike – Blood Red Shoes and Frank Turner rub shoulders with Dartz! and I Was A Cub Scout quite comfortably – yet despite a fist-pumping front few rows and an atmosphere that crackles bioelectrical forks of lightning through the air, DiS walks away feeling ever-so-slightly dissatisfied.
We’re tired, though, and that’s a factor that can’t be overlooked in this particular assessment of a by-the-book (but far from terrible for it) set that leaves many other members of a crowded 93 Feet East absolutely ravenous for more come curtain down at just after nine pm. Our eyelids are heavy and a couple of lagers haven’t helped – if the makers of Red Bull could only add a little flavour to their energy drink, we’d be yelping with glee rather than apologetically yawning when "Drove Through Ghosts To Get Here" creeps from the PA like a slowly uncoiling serpent. When its bite arrives it’s not quite the sweetly venomous puncture wound we’ve experienced before today; we’re not dizzied and disorientated by repeated blows of electronic stutter-beats and bone-splintering guitar riffs. Perhaps we’ve become accustomed to the experience, our defence mechanisms able to cope with any infection with relative ease.
Thankfully for attentions threatened with distraction, 65days deliver a new song or two – if memory serves, it is a pair of previously unheard arrangements that are aired, but forgive me if my beer-clouded and sleep-deprived grey matter has misfired. One new piece sees Paul Wolinski treat his keyboard with a fantastic tenderness, the keys brushed lightly as if made from the most delicate bone china. It’s a slight departure from the sometimes sound-alike nature of 65days sets past: although the songs from their brace of long-players to date are of an imperial quality, live the bombast can overpower the attendee, leaving them with only a recollection of some surround-sound blitz of drum beats and laptop breakdowns. Tonight, 93 Feet East’s less-than-brilliant acoustics do the four-piece no favours so far as clarity is concerned, so the fleeting moments of subtlety are well appreciated.
The core compositional structures are, still, inspirational behemoths to behold though. "Retreat Retreat" is delivered with such force that the columns that keep the venue’s ceiling from sitting atop our skulls visibly sweat under an unexpected strain. Okay they don’t, but if you squint a bit – or view them through tired eyes – it seems as if they are. "Radio Protector", too, is immense: it’s a song that possesses all the drama of certain other organic/electronic hybrid acts’ entire back catalogues, executed with maximum potency in only four minutes. And its intro remains the most wonderfully spine-tingling lead-in to a song pressed onto vinyl this year.
Yet despite the many positives, DiS can’t help but feel mildly underwhelmed by everything: sure, we’ve seen 65days dozens of times now, and we are exhausted, but there’s little to no buzzing in our brains as we take to the streets of Shoreditch. Tonight, 65days seem so professional – the addition of projections adds a new dimension to their visual appeal – that it’s hard to really connect with their highly-developed talents. However, said level of accomplishment, and technical proficiency, implies that they’re no longer ‘our’ band: they’re on the very boundary of crossing over into the brilliant lights of the mainstream and finding themselves able to headline venues far bigger than this one. Should you see a listing for 65days in some basement or attic near you soon, go. And wave them on their way with a broad smile on your face and a delightful ringing in your ears.
Just be sure to get a proper night’s sleep beforehand.
- Mike Diver, Drowned In Sound
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