Belgrave Music Hall
The Telescopes’ leader Stephen Lawrie and his bassist are hunched over on their knees in an agonising tension between pleasure and pain. Lawrie howls wildly and ear-splittingly into his strangled microphone. The bassist: solemn, reverent, seemingly enchanted by the torturous yet warm fuzz he is creating. The drummer at the rear habitually pounds his kit in a hauntingly metronomic fashion, hardening this thunderous cacophony. And the guitarist, at crowd level, swings a violin bow at his strings as if it were his exploited dance partner. This evening’s music is experimental in the extreme.
Support band Formes consist of a masked guitarist named ‘The Alchemist’ and two other blokes. They play a ghastly brand of experimental metal, which led me to think that if there were a selection of genre-filled pies laid out, they would try to put their fingers in all of them. What we would be left with is a horrible latticed-cherry mess of rock and electro and jazz and ambient.
The headline act, however, are not ones to play with their food. Having refined their sound thoroughly, The Telescopes offered a twee, dreamy psychedelic journey throughout the 90s and 00s, and now, they are (literally) screaming to be heard in a new light. In the course of their three song set, filled with lingering moments and stunning outbursts of sound, The Telescopes express a spectrum of dark emotions which, ultimately, make for an awesome, moving and cathartic live experience. Bravo, Telescopes.