Birchville Cat Motel (4 stars)

Tremors@Stills Gallery, Edinburgh, Wed 10 Jan



Last time Stills Gallery white-not-quite-cubed space played host to live music was in 1998, when Quebeçois baroque apocalypsists Godspeed You! Black Emperor marked their low-key live UK debut before a phone box capacity audience (ignore the eight million who claim to have been there - they’re liars) by attracting the attention of the local constabulary before blowing the gallery’s fuse-box.

This is only mentioned because, eight years on, New Zealand’s noise conjurer, Campbell Kneale, on the second date of his Scottish central belt sojourn, manages to avoid both interventions, despite being twice as loud as his forbears. Not only that, the 100-plus in attendance demonstrate just how much the climate has broadened. Then again, with a slowly insistent martial pounding providing backbone and shape to the brain-bending layers of noise fizzing out from Kneale’s box of tricks, this is cheerfully old school industrial sturm-und-drang. By the end, it’s as if Dead Can Dance were marching on Toytown, the sound of triumph crushed underfoot.


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