Gig Review... Tubelord @ Portland Arms, Cambridge, 21st January 2012

As the first of Tubelord’s support acts arrive on-stage the crowd begin to swell to listen to DTSP’s Math-Rock, their songs abridged by 1950’s movie sound clips. The quick tempo changes and erratic guitar lines may be typical of the Math-Rock genre but their songs are executed with such vigour and musicianship they stand out from the crowd.

Equally Reno Dakota’s rhythms are strong and grooving as are their songs. The crashing-to-a-halt instrumentation yet classic song writing they also make the style their own; they are a pleasing warm-up for the headliners.

Finally supporting Tubelord tonight are Olympians hailing from Norwich, and they have delicacy and soaring vocals and instrumentation reminiscent of Foals‘ awkward and celebratory style. They sometimes delve into moments of instrumentals, but their best moments are the earnest lyrics and pretty soundscapes.

Then Tubelord materialise before us on the stage, and launch into their set -introducing themselves only with “hello there…” Tubelord’s songs tonight sound good, and there’s a lot of head-nodding throughout, but the band’s back catalogue isn’t enough yet to fully captivate audiences not familiar with them for a full set. Their tracks are slightly predictable tonight, though enjoyable enough. When they launch the pure euphoria of ‘Night Of The Pencils’ and take great pleasure in belting out: “we spent the rest of the summer stoned,” and this is a high-point of the night. The Tubelord faithful undoubtedly enjoy the set tonight, belting every word back at the band, but for newcomers they could be a difficult prospect.


Written by - Connor Browne