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The Whip @ Hoxton Bar & Grill 07/09/11

September 12, 2011

Originally posted on The 405

gig

Ah, the popular electronic/indie crossover albums of 2007/08. You know, when it became acceptable to indulge in musical hedonism, encouraged to actually have fun in sonic terms (Klaxons, Cut Copy et al). As ladytime moves forward at the alarming rate that she does most of these acts have since released new material; to varying degrees of success, as after a party comes the sobering cleanup operation over scattered, poisoned lost bodies. It’s how one comes out the other side that now remains crucial.

Luckily for The Whip it seems they come through unscathed on the basis of forthcoming album Wired Together; not only that have woken up ready for a ‘hair of the dog’ moment, eager to continue and then some.

Tonight at Hoxton Bar and Grill is the first time for most to hear the new tracks together in the flesh from the Manchester electro-trio; and it’s the healthy partition you’d expect, a 50/50 split between Wired Together and 2008’s X Marks Destination. Everytime I’ve witnessed them live (which is a fair few) they’ve always delivered, from sweaty festival tents to humble venues in provincial England.

In a brief chat before the gig with the very affable Bruce, Danny and Fiona, they all seemed hugely enthusiastic to unleash the new material, having been doing prominently dj-sets recently.

So the only question mark is as to how the new material works in the live setting – and the answer is very well indeed; the fresh tracks in fact helping to reinvigorate their live set. We open in familiar territory with ‘Sister Sam’ followed by new boy ‘Intensity’; and so far, so good, and a seamless transition.

But it’s when the double-header of ‘Shake’ and ‘Blackout’ that momentum really starts to pick-up, as the easy-song-along nature of both choruses engulf the modest venue in a rage of kinetic sweat. Sure, The Whip may not win any awards for their thoughtful lyrical prose, but it really doesn’t seem to matter when you find yourself in the middle of a frenzy of fun through a filter of euphoric being.

Inevitably the older well-known tracks are more well received, but still the reception for new stuff is impressive – ‘Movement’ and the thumping ‘Riot’ going down – or perhaps creating – a storm. The bombasticity of ‘Riot’ is obscene; it was built to be enjoyed on a huge scale. ‘It’s just another riot in town’ Bruce Carter repeats in a strenuous raspy fashion over and over, in the tracks perfect song structure of build and release/repeat formula. ‘Metal Law’ was the surprise of the evening however, with also ‘Master of Ceremonies’ sounding all nostalgic and shimmering, the ‘Frustration’ of the current album if you will (which they didn’t play sadly).

We of course finish with ‘Trash’ well over an hour after the start though it never felt that long – a testament to the strength of tracks at their disposal now. In all honesty, the set was an full-on onslaught. They performed with a swagger and confidence of a band that knows how to – and knows they know how to – provide a ferocious energy and deliver a good time.

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