Banjo Or Freakout
@ Leeds Cockpit
Banjo Or Freakout are like a tin of concentrated undiluted soup and they make more sense live than on disc. You need to see the concentration the band are putting in and the level of care they give to assembling and polishing their sound. Experienced live without distraction, the band are complex and fascinating.
They don’t have a Banjo
They don’t freak out
But they do send your head to outer space.
It’s a simple line-up of guitar, bass and drums but the two front men have over ten effects pedals each and the guitarist is often on the floor with his pedals or adjusting his mixing desk and effects. His angular, serious face produces a high, forced voice with a serious intent while the bassist focuses on his part by staring at the floor or into space. The result is a deep psychedelia – like Spiritualised without the gospel tinges. Layer upon layer of guitar chorus and effects make for an intense trippiness of which the song is just the base.
The band aren’t much at putting on a show – they are clearly concentrating on the sound, not visuals or communication – but that in itself is interesting to watch. The crowd is immobile but focussed – the sound is too intense and narcotic to talk over – and they win new friends tonight, which is an achievement when they’re playing support to good-time pop bouncers, The Go! Team.