Zu, Crawdaddy 29/9/09

First let’s start with a quick complaint. The doors for tonight’s gig were scheduled for 7.30 yet upon arrival one must loll around the bar until 8.50. But then thankfully it’s not much longer to wait after doors for the first band to arrive. The Kites however don’t salvage too much. Their biggest problem is their stagnancy, moving little on stage and unfortunately as their music is quite inert too all make for a rather dull set.

But things drastically shift for Bats, as their 3 guitar rampage comes powering in. Supporting the release of their debut album Red In Tooth And Claw, they exude a fresh exuberance and a fuck load of energy in their fervent shitstorm display. Good stuff.

But if anything Bats prepare the punters on hand for the bombarding assault on your ears of instrumentalists Ten Past Seven. The majority of their performance is reminiscent of Dillinger-esque noise core but towards its end a graceful trade off between guitars commences which vaguely harks to the flouncing rhythms of Dysrhythmia. Ten Past Seven, check ‘em out.

No disrespect to the support bands but thank god they’re finished as now Zu, the three piece Italian jazz tinged experimental noise outfit enter. Crawdaddy isn’t exactly wedged but there’s a pleasingly large crowd on hand. It’s a satisfying testament to Zu’s sprawl in recent years.

It’s a lot of material from latest opus and career best Carboniferous that get the finest airing tonight. Tracks like “Carbon” are nothing short of stunning. Not one of these three remarkable musicians yields any energy from start to finish. It’s also great to see a band who astound on record consume you even more live.

They effortlessly hammer out their patented noise. But it’s drummer Jacopo Battaglia that certainly earns his bread throughout this cacophonous maelstrom. Crawdaddy’s intimate surroundings underline this, as every bead of sweat on his forehand is visible.

Another important aspect of the gig is its immense volume. The small setting provides for every note being like a loud, destructive crash.

The entire band wholly innovates on all levels with Luca Mai doing anything but play his baritone saxophone conventionally and it doubles over as additional percussion as he slaps its body. Meanwhile, bassist Massimo Pupillo widdles fluently through bizarre notes. It’s all staggeringly impressive.

To close Zu pummel their way through “Ostia”, a highlight of Carboniferous and one that becomes a highlight of the gig. It’s hard to imagine that someone could walk away from this show not smiling.


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