Live @ planetpop, The Attic, Sunday 13th August
The last time I saw Pilotcan was supporting Low and since they were restraining themselves to an almost-acoustic set I was sadly unprepared for the assault on the senses which awaited me at the Attic.
The band were distributing copies of their first album for free at the door, which would later allow the punter to compare and contrast with tthe new material previewed tonight. But do we view this as a thankyou, or perhaps as a significant gesture - a passage from old to new musical direction? Well, I've heard a little and heard a lot more about their new album and its change of direction, and the appearance of a cellist on stage - just visible through the haze of strawberry-flavoured smoke and strobes - is surely significant.
So a short opening piece has a brooding atmosphere generated by the cellist, but that completed she's off, leaving the 5-piece to launch an onslaught on the senses - the audience can already taste the smoke even if they can't see where it's coming from, and the vibrations are searing through the floor. And the band show that while they might have a more reflective direction on record, live they're noisier than ever, serving up a deafening racket with their 3 guitarists (including one moonlighting from noisy brutes I Am Scientist).
And oddly, we still get tracks from the debut Socially Inept Disco (I know, I just checked) though these are perhaps even more aggressively performed tonight than at the time they were written. Somewhere in the din however, there are fine tunes to be heard and the closing 3 numbers in particular actually boast harmonised voocals and guitars strummed rather than hit, kind of how Teenage Fanclub might sound if Steve Albini produced them.
That's a compliment, by the way.
The new album should be a cracker, though remember, home stereos don't go up to 11.