Three Daws, Gravesend, Kent - 23 October 1999

"Driving percussion, rubbery bass, theremin and synths"

[BIOsonic gig poster]

[BIOsonic gig poster]There seemed to be a hell of a lot of people downstairs at the Three Daws on the night of this gig. And they all came to see BIOsonic - that much was obvious when the place emptied so rapidly after the band finished their set. What a pity they didn't stay - those that did had a merry time dancing to obscure funk, psychedelic pop and big beat classics until the landlord rudely switched everything off mid-tune bang on the chime of midnight.

BIOsonic are a hard band to define. A mix of driving percussion, rubbery bass, theremin, synths and noodly Spanish-style guitar, it comes together surprisingly well. I overheard someone describe their sound as "sexy" although I wouldn't go that far myself. I'm more inclined to agree with one friend who described the noise as "atmospheric". The most appropriate arena for their music would be as the soundtrack to some darkly disturbing moment that involves a slow-burning car chase down the M1. There is something distinctly urban about the sound of BIOsonic. Visually, the band is nothing special to look at.  They can't really help that - if you've seen one group of guys play musical instruments, you've seen 'em all. And unfortunately, the too-bright lighting at the sound desk and CD table, which highlighted too much of the audience, meant that the atmospherics of the Dark Star and Ketchup visuals weren't as compelling as they should have been. Coupled with the tendency towards the occasional rawk geetar moment, there was a certain air of restlessness amongst some members of the audience.

Things calmed down for the main vocal track, featuring the ethereal vocals of Claire Bradley. This was by far my favourite track of the evening and I would have liked to hear more songs featuring her. Although I couldn't define the lyrics, it all sounded very nice and, yes, atmospheric. Having a pretty girl at the front also gave the audience something to focus on, but personally, I preferred the cinematic images provided by Dark Star and my own imagination. BIOsonic are the sound of your darkest thoughts made aural. In other words, downright nasty.

Anna Jellinek

Click here to buy BIOsonic's debut album Northern Plains from DSO!