Considering the buzz that has surrounded Squid since debut LP Bright Green Field, Nottingham’s Rock City held an uneasy excitement of what was to come following support from London-based Kaputt. Nieve O’Donnell reviews.
An elongated electronic buzz of the Intro leads the band into an opening with Sludge, with lead singer and drummer Ollie Judge energetically leading the crowd into the first track, exclaiming with characteristic vocals: ‘’there’s a place I go where I’m all alone / There’s a place I go where nobody knows’’. Simultaneously singing and drumming is a combination known for being impressive: The Eagles, Death from Above 1979, and more recently Spring King and Folly Group all share this same feature – a testament to musical accuracy.
Unnerving music makes for an exciting set and following Sludge, the band crack on with almost dystopian and anti-capitalist G.S.K which opens with the lyric ‘’As the sun sets on the GlaxoKline / Well it’s the only way I can tell the time’’. The poignant lyricism of the chorus states that ‘’On Concrete Island, I wave at the businessman / On Concrete Island, well, I hope my dinner is warm’, a potential insight into capitalism and survival on our ‘Concrete Island’.
allowing the crowd to relish in Squid’s tension and release for the last ten minutes, like a practice in delayed gratification
Squid are masters of the process of tension and release, shown lyrically and musically. Following G.S.K, Squid share Fugue which was played at the socially distanced U.K. Fieldworks tour, but hasn’t been released and doesn’t feature on ‘Bright Green Field’. It builds melodically, continuously crescendoing before Judge gets to the vocals and exclaims before the track ends. Fugue acts as a route to up-tempo The Cleaner, one of the band’s 2019 releases which receives a grand reception from the crowd before including songs from ‘Bright Green Field’: Peel St., Boy Racers and Paddling.
Rounding off with Sevens and Narrator – featuring Martha Skye Murphy – before completing the set with DFM and Pamphlets, it becomes clear that the entire crowd have enjoyed the set thus far, becoming aware that the gig is on its way to ending. Pamphlets in its entirety is 8 minutes long, allowing the crowd to relish in Squid’s tension and release for the last ten minutes, like a practice in delayed gratification.
Squid’s performance is marked by an impressive level of precision
Unpredictably and despite the extensive variety of ages in the audience, the first few rows of the crowd impressively sustain a youthful, jostling mosh pit throughout the evening. In their own way, showing appreciation for the band’s mass impression on modern post-punk music and an approval of ‘Bright Green Field’. Squid’s performance is marked by an impressive level of precision, displaying a restless unwillingness to execute their bold mix of jazz, funk and punk nothing less than accurately and exuberantly.
In-article images courtesy of Nieve O’Donnell. Permission to use granted to Impact. No changes were made to these images
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