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The Scala London 9 December 2010

A four band bill can't be bad! I came in midway through the opening act's set and what a strange line-up they were!

Fronted by a sharp dressed vocalist who was backed by a string quartet (the female cellist was doing so much gyrating you feared the poor love would out her back out!), a synths/programming player and an electronic drummer it made for an odd musical mix. The singer had a good, soulful tinged vocal but to be honest unless I had drunk a lot of beer I'd be hard pushed to enjoy this music.

Next up Losers you have to believe in yourself with a band name like that - provided a bit more bite. A three piece plying techno rock they had their moments, in particular the synth effects very Tangerine Dream/Hawkwind like at times. Not bad, the vocalist isn't the most melodious but I guess that's not the point over driving, thumping beat.

Last Republic have just released their debut album 'Parade' and look well place for bigger things. With vocalist Jonnie Owen they have a livewire frontman who can belt it our one minute then bring it right down with a subtle vocal.

The rest of the band play up a storm, although the sound mix didn't quite give the guitar enough space. Not too sure of the song titles but did enjoy 'The City' and the guest appearance of Rhodri Puw, formerly of Gorky's Zygotic Mynci.

I was very impressed by the sheer energy the whole band gave off the stage and haven't been this impressed for a long time by a new band live.

Catch them next May in the UK when they support Mike Peters & the Alarm. Now that's a very tasty double bill…

Charlie Farrell, a veritable musical master of discovering great bands, got me into the headlining band and he was there tonight, his sixth time seeing Pure Reason Revolution.

Hard to describe their sound as in their early days they attracted a lot of prog rock fans especially those who like atmospheric music like Porcupine Tree, plus they have a big dance beat that draws in the younger folk, a dash of 80's synth pop and this is topped off by some Pendulum/Prodigy approved guitar riffs. Look, take my word for it they are a little bit special and live they match their studio albums.

Highlights? The ultra catchy 'Deus Ex Machina' - such a massive chorus on this one and a melody that won't leave your head.

'Fight Fire With Fire' was the heaviest song on offer tonight, plenty of riffs and drum beats. Not the most talkative of bands they let their music and vocals (simply stunning three part harmonies at times) do the talking for them.

For an encore they brought back on the string quartet from the opening act although they struggled to be heard above the band. The encore saw them dip into their earlier material much to the delight of the crowd.

Obviously not for everyone but if you like Pendulum, Porcupine Tree and Gary Numan's early years go and see this band.

Setlist: Blitzkrieg/ Black Mourning/ Valour/ Deus Ex Machina/ Last Man, Last Round/ Patriarch/ Fight Fire/ AVO

Encore (with string quartet) Bullitts Dominae/ The Bright Ambassadors Of Morning/ Arrival/ The Intention Craft

Review by Jason Ritchie

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