15 November 2008

Clinic @ Thekla, 13.11.08

Clinic’s ‘Planetarium of the Soul’ visually-aided tour sounds pretty lofty; Stephen Hawking meeting Richard Dawkins in some sort of metaphysical microcosm perhaps, but definitely not pretentious close-up shots of redcurrants and vintage Spirograph toys. Billed as a “Brand New Happening” by Thom Yorke favourites, Clinic, Clemens Habicht’s apparently acclaimed visuals were just the start of a wildly underwhelming evening – violin/guitar/drums support Threatmantics’ guitarist’s doe-eyed attempted to eke out approval from the crowd like a child at a nativity play (a pretty epic fail considering the simplicity of his parts), and despite Clinic’s 11 years of experience and avant-garde recorded material, live, they’re a generic flogged indie horse – they have all of Brakes’ style and succinctness, but none of their jittery energy and visual magnetism, ‘The Witch’ borrows the riffs of their Domino brethren, Archie Bronson Outfit, and ‘Free Not Free’ could be any woozy west coast American band. And yet they’re still smirking behind their face masks – perhaps they’d be better off paying heed to the musical content of their live shows before focusing on gimmicky embellishments.

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