Tuesday, December 15, 2015

Synthetic X-mas 2015: Johnny Normal, Shelter, Future Perfect, The Department, Blott

12.12.2015 Actress & Bishop, Birmingham

Birmingham is not a city that can boast about electronic music much but radio show host Johnny Normal did it anyway and brought 5 fine acts to pre-Christmas Birmingham, upstairs at the actress & bishop.

The stage was rather small and littered with equipment of the performing acts gave opener BLOTT (Geoff Martin) and his two fellow musicians little room to maneuver and to put on a show. As it turns out, BLOTT didn’t need to as the music spoke for itself with its cool rhythms and electronic bleeps.


What really made the night for me were the ever brilliant ‘Shelter’ and the duo  FUTURE PERFECT

Using a cliched line here: they truly were perfect. Playing many a tune from their new album ‘After the fall’ and its predecessor ‘Escape’ Simon and Rebecca Owen aka Future Perfect were in sync with one another, the music was dance-able and the melodies catchy and many of the lyrics were quite deep-ish, which made for an interesting performance. 

Rebecca dedicated the performance to her mum who passed away in October and everything about this gig was heartfelt and freshly unpretentious. Highly enjoyable


THE DEPARTMENT brought moodier, darker pieces to the night and, although good, weren’t necessarily my cup of tea. Their Waldorf Blofeld on stage was what caught my attention during their segment of the night, though


Shortly after  it was time for the 2014 Erasure Violet Flame tour support act SHELTER, who also performed their brandnew single ‘This must be love’ for the first time ever. 

Seeing them live for the third time it was noticeable that they are getting better and better at their game and the audience responded very well to them. The gig offered many songs from their current album ‘Emerge’ and some from their forthcoming second offering ‘Ascend’ and their encore consisted of a brilliant rendition of the Vince Clarke penned Depeche Mode classic: ‘Photographic’


JOHNNY NORMAL and his mate ‘Psycho Pete’ were on next and they didn’t skip a beat with their driving material. Unfortunately I had to leave about 15 minutes into their gig, so I can’t really rate them and I totally missed DJ Rob Harvey and still had an amazing night out

Fantastic night, thanks to Johnny and all the bands he brought to the Midlands

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