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Live / stage review

Guttersnipe, 10 Feb, Jabeerwocky

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Have you ever seen that scene in Cloudy With A Chance Of Meatballs, where they jump inside jelly? Walking into the venue midway through a Roman Nose song was like that, except the jelly was made of multi-layered free jazz with a sprinkling of new-age folk.

The sound filled the room like a sprawling tapestry of hypnotic strings, drums and harmonium. The depth of the composition made it hard to distinguish one instrument from another, yet the rhythm section did a great job of offsetting the timbre, maintaining audience attention just enough that we didn't drift into a trance. It was a glorious introduction to an afternoon of experimental music.

Next up came Helen Papaioannou who took to the stage so quietly that people didn't notice, until she put the baritone sax to her lips and released a note that would put foghorns to shame. What followed was a game of pulsing, rhythmic notes intertwined with sampled synth and bass reminiscent of old-school dub. Looking around the room you could see eyebrows rise in shock as people wondered how she turned her sax into a magic sound machine.

Guttersnipe make acid trip freak-out appear expertly choreographed

As if it hadn't been wacky enough so far, on came Leeds duo Guttersnipe. Taking traditional noise rock and adding a bucket-load of glitter and an unreasonable number of decibels, Guttersnipe make acid trip freak-out appear expertly choreographed. The pair fully embrace organised chaos, conjuring up a concoction of free jazz, noise rock and ethereal shrieking that provides an entirely new and deafening experience.

By the end, my ears were ringing. The sheer volume of the PA and guitarist Urocerus Gigas' rainbow hair should've been a dead giveaway as to what was coming. Alas, I was not sage enough to bring earplugs.

Noah Martin

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