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ARTIST FOCUS #021 - ACROBATIC SOCIETY

Acrobatic Society are a five-piece who have been described by their label as ‘the sort of visceral, creative band who often get lazily described as shambolic, when they’re anything but.’ I’m familiar with this kind of misconception. People seem to believe that if you’ve got a violin player in the band you ought to be playing dutiful, obedient Arcade Fire kind of stuff. I haven’t seen them live myself, but their energy has been described as bordering on ‘offensive.’ As a listener or a potential audience member, that’s all the assurance I need.

Their debut EP ‘Meat Meets Meat’ came out last year. It reminds me of David Bowie’s 70s collaboration with Brian Eno: lots of fuzz, but restless innovation in the song-writing underneath. They’re influenced by The Birthday Party and you can hear that same shantyish, swashbuckling menace in them. Scott Harrison and Adam Pearson’s vocals are Cavesque in that they sometimes revel in tongue-in-cheek theatrical darkness. It also has something of The Lemonheads’ Evan Dando to it.

Their lyrics run on a punning energy. “I’m allergic to anti-sceptic” in ‘Observer’ has to be my favourite. Songs like ‘Himself by Herself’ have something of Captain Beefheart in them, which is always a treat. But for every moment of risk-taking experimentation there is one of gentle intricacy: something like the The Eye Jab. In being musically interesting they lose nothing in listenability. Standout tracks include ‘Veils’ and ‘Rot.’ Their next EP is coming out on Tiny Lights this Autumn.

Acrobatic Society play the Tyne Bar Stage at 8.15pm

Words by Jonnie McAloon

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