The Neutrinos “Klang Haus” Midnight Feast, Live Art! at Norwich Arts Centre, NNF14. 10 May 2014, review and photos.
The Neutrinos’ Klang Haus at Norwich Arts Centre for Live Art, was my first event of this year’s Norfolk and Norwich Festival 2014, and one of my most keenly anticipated events of the Festival.
From the moment I walked into the Arts Centre (at the normally late but on this occasion early) time of about 9:30pm I could sense an entirely different vibe. The auditorium and bar were shut off from the foyer by black curtains, and even the most seasoned NAC regulars stepped through into a dark carpeted and decorated area with at least a slight sense of expectation or trepidation. On the other side of the curtains were hypnotic dual projections and all around was the sound of chattering birds but after some moments one noticed the slightly more sinister sounds of monkeys chattering too, and more sinister goings on in the projections too. Even the very dimly lit bar did not offer sanctuary nor comfort from these disquieting sounds which seemed to be coming from all angles, the whole place darker in both lighting and ambiance. Deliciously dark.
When 10:30pm arrived and the doors of the auditorium opened, people slowly filed in, but this is Klang Haus and there were no gig conformities, therefore the band launched straight into their set. And what a set. Totally compelling and immersive, both visually and aurally. Karen spellbinding and captivating, as are the whole band, grinding, deep, pulsing bass, insistent drumming and guitar and keys in turns scratchy, hypnotic, slow or slicing. The energy and the visuals of this band are incredible. With projections at the back of the stage by Sal Pitman … as insistent and hypnotic are the driving rhythms of the band, so too are the visuals onstage, it was a glorious bombardment of the senses, with speakers all around the room the effect was 360 degree aural immersion, captivation – theatrical, visual, dramatic and visceral.
Leaving the stage one by one to a repeated refrain of “You’ve lost your edge” we in the audience knew better than to demand an encore, Klang Haus after all, is about blurring the edges of preconception and of the whole gig/band/audience formula and routine, challenging to the last The Neutrinos gloriously push the boundaries of the gig experience. However, as the auditorium slowly emptied to the troubling groans and moans through the all around sound system, The Neutrinos themselves jammed for some time more upstairs in the NAC Bar, pulsing and driving repetition as the bar itself filled up again. What a great start to my NNF14. It can of course be labelled an Art Rock, or even Avant Garde, experience but it is not in any way nor is it at any time pretentious, it is just living and organic creativity in musical form. Pure art at its best. Unpredictable, exciting, sometimes challenging and always exhilarating. I am proud that Norwich is the home to such a groundbreaking and exciting band as The Neutrinos.
Many thank to The Neutrinos, and all at Norwich Arts Centre
words and photos © all rights reserved, richard shashamane 2014