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:: Beat The Radar :: Emphemetry :: Haiku Salut ::
15 January 2011 / The Castle (Oldham St) / Manchester
By Ged Camera

“It’s a three line poem” explains a knowledgeable punter to the person who thinks be is trying to be clever. “John Cooper Clarke had it as a song title” he continues. “Who is JCC?”. Well there are three females in the Haiku Salut but there is also a whole host of musical paraphernalia laid on in the stage, from glockenspiels and an accordion to the more regular staple of keyboards and guitars. A sequence of musical positions, similar to musical chairs only the musicians cross and swap around, not just between songs, but during numbers ensures. Amid all this nimble footwork which the contestants of Dancing on Ice would appreciate, they conjure up a mini orchestra of sounds that would quite easily act as a soundtrack to a romantic comedy, the bit where the relationship is in the heady, carefree stage. It’s all sweetness and light and even veers towards evoking images of the circus fairground goofiness with the organ section. It’s seems fitting that they should all end up playing different sections of the same keyboard before dissolving into a fit of giggles.

“That’s beautiful” utters another friend of MM about the sounds being produced by Emphemetry. Considering she is on the other side of a door and was in the middle of a conversation, it indicates the high quality of music being produced by the three musicians on the stage to be able to grab her attention. The traditional set up is eschewed by the band, with a two violins and one guitar arrangement. Granted they do have plenty of foot pedals and techno gimmickry to replay samples to help them out with the production of tunes of haunting fragility and apparent simplicity. Before the start of the set, the non violin player Richard ‘Biff’ Birkin, announces that they play “low” so would appreciate it if the people at the back refrain from talking as the noise “carries over the crowd to the front”. Then as the violinist drags the bow across the strings, someone drops a glass and it smashes, ensuring an outbreak of laughter.

At times the second violin is substituted for a set of drums, to ensure it doesn’t become too highbrow, and the delicacy of the performance is suitably opposite to that which will follow with Beat the Radar. From the opening chords of their opening number, the compact room is a mash of bodies thrashing about in vicarious enjoyment of the pop friendly output. People are on each other's shoulders, only briefly getting a moments respite before the next three minute slice of enjoyment is served up. Twice in eight days MM has been sucked into Beat The Radar's party, and all we can say is if you've not seen them yet is they will probably be playing somewhere else soon, and you should probably do soemthing about it.

Beat The Radar
Haiku Salut

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