Date: 14th july 2018
Review and photography by David William Hatton
It’s a lovely hot July evening in London, as we take a pre-gig walk along the Thames. For those of a superstitious nature it’s Saturday 14th, oooooooo.
A few twists and turns from the south side of the river, the Underdog Gallery is an intimate venue on crucifix lane. Through a big heavy black curtain, we enter the open plan space, situated within the railway arches.
This eve’s feast for the ears is topped by Poly-Math, a Brighton based instrumentalist juggernaut, a juggernaut with fuel injection like in the movie Duel.
Tonight’s support comes from London’s Burden Limbs and Olympians from Norwich/London.
First up is Burden Limbs, and from what I have read this is their first gig as a band/ensemble.
I would say they had the bases covered tonight, with the ensemble consisting of two guitarists, two bassists and a third guitar/synth finished off by drums.
They have a attracted a reasonable crowd considering it’s 8pm. Their style of music is not really my cup of tea, but being constructive they probably need more time playing live. Other than a few mistakes during their set (which is perfectly natural all things considered, it’s their first gig), they kept it together, and as the set went on the gathered crowd liked their material and that’s what matters. Onwards and upwards for this project, I will look out for a recording soon.
How Many Times Must I Reset?
The Horrors To Come
If I was to describe Olympians as a bird, it would those birds that wake you up at an ungodly hour in the day, the chirpy birds that it’s very hard to dislike. It may be 4 o’clock in the morning or 9 pm at night in a boiler room during a British summer, but its such a nonthreatening noise, how could you possibly be angry at those cheeky fellas! I mean birds.
Describing themselves as office pop, they certainly have a quirky feel with songs like Party Boys and Babybel.
Their long interactions with the crowd show they are comfortable playing live and they provide plenty of banter between songs, especially between the band members.
Easy on the ears music, a good choice of band for a warm sunny evening.
Best Laid Plans
Home Is Where Your Heart Breaks
A crowd of about 60 people have amassed for tonight’s prog-math-rock fun. This my first time seeing them in a live form, so I am expecting the album intensity x 10.
A short excerpt from Geography as an intro allows them time to walk across the floor. The drums take centre stage tonight, the floor area is home to the other musicians: guitar, bass and keys.
Poly-Math step out, suited, booted and all in black like MI6 agents: the M standing for Mathioso, the I standing for intelligencia, it’s an acronym that suits them well.
The venue is hot, but not as hot as Baghdad. “What the hell are you talking about”, I hear you say. Well, in 1258, Baghdad was under siege from the Mongol leader Hulagu Khan, grandson of Genghis. I’m assuming this is in some way connected to the concept of their opening song, 1258, a 10 minute epic prog tale. Ink of Scholars and Philosophy follow, all from their House of Wisdom record.
Poly-Math are precise and very tight; their songs shift gear with ease, moving from 70’s prog rock to the modern interpretations of the same, while the intro to Philosophy throws in a reminder of Jeff Buckley’s Everybody Here Wants You.
Sometimes the only way to truly feel the full intensity of a bands music is live: the string gymnastics and off-kilter drums fill and hit every last brick in the arched venue. If you see them live you won’t be disappointed, they are a complete and professional act. See you down the front the next time they play in London!
Ink Of Scholars