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LIVE! – Z.electric

July 6, 2010 by  

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LIVE! – Z.electric

ARTIST: Z.electric
SUPPORT: Kites, Wall Street Riots
VENUE, TOWN: Punk Soho, London, England
DATE: 30th June 2010

FIVE WORD REVIEW: Cracking newcomers overcome the odds

MAIN REVIEW: It’s an ideal venue for indie electro; soft neon lighting, chandeliers and faux classical armchairs. There’s also a decent sized crowd of young twenty-somethings and some not so twenty-somethings having a fair go at faking it. But it’s a difficult time. Middle of the week. The deadzone. Worse, Wall Street Riots have already had to drop due to plague-related technical difficulties, taking us down a live act and a DJ set.

Fortunately, the Kites step up and bring it forward with some fast-paced, Indie electro reminiscent of the Killers, but with the very slightest accent of Bowie to it. They are absolutely loaded with energy though, especially their dandy-esque front man who oozes self assurance and charisma. They plough everything they have into their final number and finally manage to get the crowd fired into a proper rave hopper.

Being relatively new (around 6 months since they first hatched), it’s probably safe to say nobody really knows what to expect from Z.electric, possibly not even the band themselves, who are going through a swathe of new material tonight. Worse, House maestro, DJ Alli-Cat, introduces them with the fateful words: “These guys were amazing during their sound test.” Which must be the musical equivalent of naming Hamlet, as this starts a running battle between man and machine, which ultimately sees Z.electric coming out victorious.

Leading us in with ‘My Runaway Heart’, its melancholy piano section gradually builds into a rousing pop anthem, shaking things up and leading the way into a heady half hour mix of electro, drum and bass, jazz, pop and one totally boss clarinet. At times it might seem too much, but the threatening sound of the bass is well tempered by the light fruity electro and the soft yet firm cadence of the female vocals, with the Jazz injecting a dose of solid funk and energy. And this all despite some serious levelling problems.

Finally, things are rounded out, as the twangy oriental-esque intro of ‘Sweet Mystery’ melts into a brooding dub cloud head, calmly marshalled along by some impeccable vocal work that also includes a double saxophone blowout; it’s loose, light and eminently danceable. And the dancing is going on, clumsy RHV journalists non-withstanding.

(Images: Kites, Z.electric, Z.electric, DJ Alli-Cat. All credit Alex De)




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