Music | The Telescopes live

The Telescopes
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.

Oliver Walkden

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