Tuesday, 17 June 2014
Gig Review: SPACEHEADS Live at St Margaret's Church, Manchester 26th April 2014
Playing the last of three shows to launch their new EP, Trip to the Moon, drum and trumpet duo Spaceheads returned to the beautiful setting of St. Margaret's Church in the heart of Whalley Range.
Opening the proceedings was Paddy Steer, a one-man band whose set-up is as eclectic and random as his musical style. Using a mix of laptop, vintage synths, oscillators, percussion and a xylophone, the seemingly haphazard manner Paddy plays works amazingly to produce a soundscape which is remarkably entertaining. With the vocal being fed through a vocoder, the music at times sounded like R2D2 having a drunken fight. During some less abstract moments it was akin to Italian soundtrack legends Goblin. Dressed in a highly theatrical robe, neck piece and hat, looking like a cross between a glam rock priest and someone from The Arabian Nights, Paddy is a wonderfully visual as well as audible spectacle. He even dons a papier-mâché helmet, complete with glowing eyes and mouth, resembling a cyborg Frank Sidebottom to sing a number of songs. His quirky charm is easy to like, and despite what seemed to be a slapdash approach, it's clear Paddy is very talented and it's all put together very artful.
They play a selection of tunes from their new EP and the previous one, Sun Radar, with great energy and power. Andy walks the length of the church aisle and from the pulpit, like a minister addressing his congregation, never dropping a beat – one eye and finger on the iPhone attached to a spatula attachment to trigger the effects.
Unfortunately, it's over too soon. Due to a strict 10.30pm curfew they have to finish on Trance Figure 8, from the 1999 album Angel Station.
9 out of 10
The new EP, Trip to the Moon is available to download, and on CD and 12” vinyl from here.
You can buy the music of Paddy Steer here.