Math Rock

Feedback Voice at the Soundhouse Photo Trevor Cobb

Math Rock at the Soundhouse

14th February 2014

by Trevor Cobb

It’s Thursday night and as a precursor to the weekend, I am nervously stepping into the musical unknown with a night of ‘math’ rock at the Soundhouse.

7.30pm start it said on the event page, then a few hours beforehand a FB message said 7.00pm. I always allow 30 minutes after advertised doors opening before arriving to avoid that deathly empty atmosphere before the crowd builds at a gig. So we got there for 7.30pm to find a note on the door stating doors would in fact be 8.00pm. An annoyingly inauspicious start to what would otherwise be a memorable evening at the Soundhouse – and no, I won’t mention the venue swaps. Oops, I just did.

Feedback Voice started the night off. Describing themselves as Math-Rock/Alternative/Post-Punk, this Hinckley based four piece were a slightly more mainstream sound on the bill but managed to avoid the over-populated indie rock tag with their material. They performed a mix of established songs and new ones, fresh from recording down in London earlier that day and previous days.

The band is tight with lead singer Andrew King fronting confidently and engaging with the appreciative crowd. This is the third time I’ve seen Feedback Voice, a few years ago at OBS 2012 and then last month as support on the JAWS bill at the O2. Their sound is definitely developing and maturing, particularly the vocals and as they develop their own signature sound, alongside obvious influences such as TTNG and American Football, they appear to be building a loyal support.

Check Feedback Voice  out on Soundcloud | Feedback Voice on Facebook

Next on stage,  we had the somewhat intriguingly named, The Physics House Band. A three-piece group from Brighton, they are fronted by two guitarist/keyboardists, one of whom could do a very passable impression of the IT Crowd’s Richard Ayoade and completed with their drummer.

An emerging force in UK music the Physics House Band were themselves something of a draw on the bill and there was clearly a dedicated part of the crowd present to specifically see them. I’m a relative newcomer to math rock and it does have a certain precision and order to it when listening online but both Physics House Band and LITE seemed to cut loose from this live and it is a much more engaging and emotive experience than the genre title might suggest. As a more senior fan, I could hear touches of early Genesis and Floyd in Physic House Band’s music and experimental rock probably sums them up best with touches of free jazz, noise and psychedelia.

The Physics House Band website | Physics House Band on Facebook

Japan band LITE at The Soundhouse Photo Trevor Cobb

And so to our main act LITE. A four piece Japanese band they are playing Leicester this Thursday night before flying to Denmark for a gig on the Friday and then back to London for a sold out gig at Elecktrowerx.

Again there was a very definite section of the crowd dedicated to LITE. They kicked off somewhat low key, possibly partly down to language barriers, with guitarist, Nobuyuki Takeda, left to do most of the dialogue but they very quickly had the crowd involved in their music. Known for experimenting with time signatures and layered guitar work, with likely Steve Reich influences, LITE performed a set that nonetheless delighted a relative newcomer to the genre such as me, just as much as it did the dedicated aficionados. Intricate guitar play melded with sometime electronica delivered an absorbing and engaging set.

I’ve recently had a feeling that some headline acts have cut short their sets but none of that with LITE. They played for well over an hour and hung around afterwards to talk with fans despite their hectic schedule on Friday and Saturday. As the Vapors once sang, I could be turning Japanese on the strength of LITE and other Japanese alt and math rock bands like ‘The Cabs’, sadly now disbanded, ‘Shonen Knife’ and ‘tricot’.

LITE  on FB

Thanks to Robot Needs Home for an excellent night of alt music from the far reaches of the galaxy.

See also:

Music diary for March

Music diary for February

Original Bands Showcase 2014

Flying Kangaroo Alliance and Midnight Wire

About The Editor 535 Articles
The Editor of Music in Leicester magazine is Kevin Gaughan assisted by Trevor Locke