Sunday, October 19, 2008

Of Montreal - Koko. 16 October, 2008

First off, I want to express my disgust at the venue itself, Koko. The building itself is beautiful, and maintains an intimacy that some venues lose, but the running of it was incredibly frustrating.
A tin of beer was £3.60, and was still warm and flat, and barely filled half the disposable pint tumbler it was served in.

Now to the music. The remaining support band, Eugene McGuinness (the other band pulled out because the singer had pneumonia), were sub-Kooks indie, and didn't really compliment the originality of the headliners. In fact they were boring. In between the band's sets, the in house DJ was more interested in showing off how eclectic his record collection was than trying to embrace the mood of the audience.

So it was with great relief that of Montreal took to the stage, carrying on Alice Cooper's philosophy that the performer must entertain the audience. A motley collection of be-costumed dancers paraded the stage throughout the show, involving tigers fighting birds, Kevin Barnes being stripped and doused in red paint, as if being prepared for a human sacrifice by bald, silver-headed cultists.

The set involved two half hour segments of uninterrupted music, with not even intervals to check the setlist, although most of the songs were from the as-yet-unreleased Skeletal Lamping, and thus were unfamiliar to most of the crowd (myself included). The crowd was fully into the gig though, as evidenced by the mosh-lite pits forming during Heimdalsgate Like a Promethean Curse.

Very little dialogue was entered into by the band, but when it was, the guitarist tongue-in-cheek admitted to wanking off to the image of own sister. It's these little moments that made the gig so unique (for me anyway).

The encore was a triumph as well, finishing off with a surprise inclusion (although I personally was in on the secret, having read this) of Smells Like Teen Spirit. That went down a storm and rounded off one of the best gigs I have ever been to. I'm just pissed off I forgot to bring my camera.