Gig review: Hector Bizerk, Glasgow

Audrey Tait and Louie Boy of the breaking big Hector Bizerk. Picture: Contributed
Audrey Tait and Louie Boy of the breaking big Hector Bizerk. Picture: Contributed
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THIS show had originally been scheduled for a month earlier, but in putting it back it’s almost like the core of the band – rapper Louie Boy and drummer Audrey Tait – knew they were waiting for one of the biggest weeks in their career so far.

Hector Bizerk

Broadcast, Glasgow

****

Within the preceding days it had been announced that the Glaswegians would be appearing at the NME showcase at Austin, Texas’ South By Southwest music festival, no less, and that Walk Tall Recordings (who just released Pete Doherty’s tribute to Amy Winehouse) would be releasing their debut album Nobody Seen Nothing.

So in launching their new EP The Bell That Never Rang, there wasn’t so much a sense of triumphalism as a positive euphoria that this is a band moving forward quickly. The sold-out crowd swelled and heaved, making it hard in this atmospheric basement to see anyone but Louie, his fist gamely clenched in the air. There was a bassist playing deep, laid-back dup reggae lines and a percussionist onstage as well, but Louie and Tait are the key to this band. Her playing is sublime, offering a laid-back jazz style one moment and a thundering clubby rhythm the next, with Louie’s thoughtful polemic bouncing assuredly over them.

They touched upon dub, drum‘n’bass and Can’s freak-out Mother Sky on Bury the Hatchet, sounded like they were channelling an angrier version of Daft Punk’s Da Funk on Fingerprints on the Drumkit and fused jazz with the Specials on Welcome to Nowhere. Much has been made of the rude health of Scottish hip-hop, but in Louie’s evocative words on urban alienation (Rust Cohle) and communal action (Columbus and its shoutalong chorus) Hector Bizerk escalate the style into something distinctively their own.

Seen on 20.02.15