The Lucid Dream, arguably the most important psych band in Britain at the moment, played Soup Kitchen last night. It was their last show for a while and their adoring Manchester fanbase was eager to enjoy every note.
Opening the set, as usual, is ‘Mona Lisa’. Emerging from noise to reveal a motorik groove from Mike Denton and Luke Anderson so tectonic, so timeless it makes your krautrock collection redundant. Waves of guitar noise from Mark Emmerson and Wayne Jefferson (and a f-load of pedals) swoosh and bounce off the concrete walls creating a kaleidoscopic sensorama. ‘Mona Lisa’ sucks everyone into the immersive drama of what is going down.
A brand new song entitled ‘Bad Texting’ (apparently it’s ‘Bad Texan’ but I prefer my version) hit with the force of a dub-disco earthquake bomb that A Certain Ratio would have made a Faustian pact to make. Mark’s stop-start vocals are invigorating. If the next album will be going in the direction of dance music that could sink battleships then the wait is already too hard. Click to watch ‘Bad Texan’.
‘You & I’, the surprise slowie of the set pushes the idea of 1950s love song through a fine wire mesh.
Played, for maybe the last time was ‘Heartbreak Girl’. It was a short and sweet reminder of the early days of the band.
‘Unchained Dub’ revolves around the frantic oscillations of Mark’s Dub Siren, a screaming alarm of nerve shredding bliss. Another bassline from Mike that makes most of your post punk collection redundant. Click to watch ‘Unchained Dub’ live.
Ending the set, as usual, is ‘Sweet Hold On Me’. This time the noise intro is extended with Mike apparently trying to hit that fabled frequency which will make humans crap themselves. When the song emerges adrenaline levels are spiking. Changing shape constantly the song becomes a frantic race to whatever endgame transpires.
Then it’s over and drummer Luke looks like a man whose been through ‘Nam. Except of course, it isn’t over. ‘Sweet Hold On Me Part 2’ (maddeningly the studio version is called ‘Morning Breeze’) fires up like an avenging demon. Now back to a state of pure noise: this cacophony continues and invades your mind until even the notion of traditional songwriting seems a distant memory. A catastrophic death knell that sounds like the shit-stained walls of purgatory collapsing on you.
The Lucid Dream shed their skin to untether your subconscious. The intensity is staggering, each one forcing flesh and instrument into higher levels of achievement.
The Lucid Dream is available here