ALRIGHT THE CAPTAIN
- Chiyoda Ku
- Memory Of Elephants
Intimacy is something often treasured by gig attendees. The close-quarters of such shows generate the greatest sense of inclusion, making it feel like the hours spent checking every back catalogue and B-side the band has put out does, in reality, matter. Unfortunately, even for a venue like Maguire’s, having a twelve-strong crowd, including the bands themselves, appears to go beyond this sort of notion. The operative word is, thankfully, ‘appears’, as ALRIGHT THE CAPTAIN show no sign of feigned interest or blunted passion in a showing which well and truly qualifies their Facebook bio of “we like making noise wherever we can”. The qualification must also stretch to both of tonight’s support acts. Where Alright The Captain certainly boast aesthetics which tie them into the general math-rock environment, their support pertain to both the post- and jazz-rock descriptors.
MEMORY OF ELEPHANTS bombard the sparse crowd with rich, frenetic post-rock tunes, forging soundscapes which are at times as serene as they can be brutal, against which the clean, more dance-y sound of CHIYODA KU reflect similar off-beat sentiments, just spoken in a different language. No sign of streams of latecomers, yet neither is there any notion of becoming lost in the space, as both bands exercise a sense of energy and presence which works to fill the room out rather nicely.
Moving a table out from the stage and decking it with a synth and their trademark glowing skull, lovingly known as Barbara, Alright The Captain present their elaboration on the inclusive feeling of the gig from the off. Guitarist Marty Toner and bassist Todd Wood hop frenziedly around the table, fuelled by their meaty, frenetic riffs and indefatigable time changes. The energy sizzles around the room, with Barbara’s bright orange glow the nucleus for the unfolding animation.
Alright The Captain, however, are never less than one-hundred percent focused. Hooded and rarely static, Toner’s face is that of a man truly lost in his work; he lives and breathes every note, and it translates effectively. Baltirific and Honey Badger are sure highlights, the latter of which is willingly initiated by crowd contribution. Toaster Mouse sees a leaning towards Mogwai territory as Wood turns his hand to the synth, though it lacks none of the urgency in either Toner and Wood’s movements or the music they create. Drawn tight by the glue of Jamie Cattermole’s drums, it is a performance which is both furious in its intent and equally unrelenting in its delivery.
Indicative of both their skill and work ethic, the satisfaction of seeing Alright The Captain at work is barely diminished by the meagre crowd. Masters in their field, the hectic nature of most of their live shows may have been dented somewhat, but the vigour and sense of scope certainly isn’t. With Barbara as our beacon, Alright The Captain take us by the hand and direct us through each and every inspired riff and drum beat. The fact there were fewer hands certainly didn’t bother any of those assembled; on the contrary, the personal tutorage made the experience that bit more satisfying.