Vile Electrodes/Black Nail Cabaret/KNIGHT$/The Frixion and Gene Serene/The Department

Electrowerkz, London - 6 May 2017

"One of the most enjoyable evenings of music ever"

I am sure most of us have been to gigs were the support acts have just not been suited to the main act, or they were just not very good, and we wanted them to finish as quickly as possible, well this was not one of those nights.

All the acts tonight were strong, and the planning that went into the night must have been exceptional as all went to time and the sound quality was fantastic.

The Department      The Frixion

Photos [L-R]: The Department, The Frixion

First up was The Department, tonight reduced to a two piece (as Magnus had a prior appointment to see Depeche Mode in Stockholm – it’s a hard life but someone has to do it). But Cliff and Rob were in great form and their short set consisted of material from their album Alpha which still appears to be evolving, as well as This Be The Verse and new (and as yet unfinished) song About A Boy. It was an excellent performance and the crowd would have loved to hear more.

The Department setlist: Pressure, Glass Houses, This Be The Verse, Skin Vultures, Slow Down, About A Boy

Next up was The Frixion with Lloyd Price (Massive Ego) and Gene Serene, this was their first ever live performance, but their past experience showed, with superlative music from Lloyd and exquisite vocals from Gene, they finished there set all too soon with Heartbroke Disco, with calls from the audience for more, but alas time did not permit.

The Frixion setlist: Don't Think About It Too Much, If U Ever Wonder, Under The Cherry Moon, From Dusk Till Dawn, Heartbroke Disco

KNIGHT$      Black Nail Cabaret

Photos [L-R]: KNIGHT$, Black Nail Cabaret

From the serene and eloquence of Frixion, we moved to a much more poptastic set by KNIGHT$, with a great performance by frontman James Knight. He was ably supported on keys, by a very skilled young lady, and another skilled musician on keys, guitars and percussion. The set started with a cover version of Psyche's Uncivilised. Again the set went all too quickly, but this time the organisers had enought time to allow KNIGHT$ to slip in a quick encore and a second cover, this time of Pet Shop Boys' Heart which was most effective.

KNIGHT$ setlist: Uncivilised (Psyche cover), What We Leave Behind, So Cold, Cards On The Table, What's Your Poison?, Gigolo, Alligator, Heart (Pet Shop Boys cover)

From the pop of KNIGHT$ to a darker set by Black Nail Cabaret, with both a new line up and a new album I was not sure what to expect, and to be honest I always worry when bands I love change line up, but in this case I need not have worried. Emese gave an impassioned and very gothic performance with her silky smooth vocals and the Krisztian’s keyboard sounded awesome. I enjoyed the set so much I both forgot to take many photographs, and also went straight to the merchandise stand to buy the new album Dichromat - and have been playing it ever since.

Black Nail Cabaret setlist: Sister Sister, Dora, We Like To Suffer, Therapy, Minor Panics, Satisfaction, Session, Comfort Zone, Veronica

Vile Electrodes

Photo: Vile Electrodes

Last but not least were Vile Electrodes, again a bit of an odd one for me as whilst I have heard them, watched videos of them perform and met them at other gigs, this was the first time I had ever seen Martin and Jane perform live.

As an electronic musician myself, I was dumbstruck by their ability to make such incredible music live and to mix tweek, effect and change sounds as if a studio session. It certainly takes a lot of skill to do and I spent the entire performance transfixed by the way they manipulated the sound. It was a truly epic performance and I know understand why fellow electronic musicians give them such high praise.

Vile Electrodes setlist: Like Satellites, In The Shadows Of Monuments, The Red Bead, Empire Of Wolves, Stranger To Myself, As We Turn To Rust, Last Of The Lovers, Proximity, Incision

So this for me was a night of five headline quality acts, who worked together both to keep the event on schedule, and more generally by producing contrasting and complimentary performances. Everyone involved in organising this event should be very proud of their achievement. Truly one of the most enjoyable evenings of music ever. 10/10

Review+Photos: Mark Smith