Last Thursday I got to see a band that was once arrested for looking suspicious because they were wearing denim jackets and hats (and for being high, mostly); Gnoomes introducing their new album MU! at The Shacklewell Arms.
Unfortunately I didn’t make it on time to catch the first band (Terravi), so I sat down at the bar area with a beer and cheesy chips (damn good, btw) to wait for the second one. The venue was surprisingly empty for a Thursday night, so there was nobody standing between me and the guy who suddenly dropped his entire drink after reaching his table and I got to witness it all (and point and laugh).
The second support band was Japanese Television, which I’d missed in other occasions so this was a pretty lucky line-up for me. Instrumental psychedelic rock tends to bore me after a bit, but these guys have some unique spookiness in their sound that keeps you alert and curious, like a crocodile dentist.
They weren’t very engaging with the crowd and each of them seemed to be on their own little planet, but the crowd was absolutely loving it. Harry Dean Stanton (yes, he’s dead) was standing nodding at the very front, approving of their performance. If you think you’d enjoy music that sounds like the soundtrack for a cheap-budget space ghost movie, make sure you check them out at their EP launch this July at The Waiting Room (Stoke Newington).
And then it was Gnoomes’ turn. They weren’t wearing denim jackets or hats and they looked dead serious; especially their newest member Masha (synths).
MU! is an adventurous yet spotless album, and they performed it beautifully. Their sound was intricate and deep, enough to make this man next to the stage shake and make praying motions (really intense and creepy).
One of the things that made their sound so detailed and diverse was the ridiculous amount of pedals lined up in front of the guitarist; rampant during songs like 'Ursa Major' and 'Utro', more melodic and Tame Impala-like for 'Glasgow Coma State' and very melancholic '90s sound for my favourites, 'Sword In The Stone' and 'How Do You'.
It was clear that the addition of a new member had made them much MUCH better, giving each of them the opportunity to develop and enhance their sound, and I bet the crowd could tell; it was a perfect gig. They don’t seem to have any more gigs planned in London for now, but do yourself a favour and go see them next time, and check their album out in the meantime!