BRIGHTON’s finest kraut-rock impersonators are on the road with home-grown talent, Mirrors – a sharply dress quartet toting a synth under each arm.
With four imposing tables stacked high with samplers, cables and Juno-related paraphernalia, the band precede headliners Fujiya & Miyagi with a polished set of album debuts, including their recent single, Into The Heart; an ode to an emotion maelstrom.
Along with their three piece suits and earnest, reverb laden lyrics, their sound can easily be filed between Depeche Mode and Kraftwerk, a combination that should work in their favour later this year when they support Gary Numan.
It’s a polished outfit from the great British seaside, right down to the slicked back, razor-sharp haircuts and post-modern projector shorts, making them a glossy tribute to their Germanic predecessors.
On balance, Mirrors are delightful, but they do walk a fine line between pretentious parody and dangerously relevant in today’s DIY electro land. Personally, I find it enjoyable, but I also own a (we are) Performance record.
Since their last UK tour three years ago, Fujiya & Miyagi seem to be adopting a lo-fi staging approach with a bare bones set-up. It accompanies the stripped down tone of recent release, Ventrilloquizzing, a decidedly dark departure from 2008’s Lightbulbs which gave us sugary hits like Knickerbocker.
Perhaps the band are feeling the recession pinch, for there’s none of the usual projectors and flashing lights, no multi-coloured ice-cream sundaes, just a run of the mill song about soup.
Yes, kicking off the set with odd subject choice, Minestrone, is one way to set the mood, continuing the food-related theme with Cat Got Your Tongue which warns an unkown they “don’t know what side your bread is buttered on”.
Following up with the bruising Sixteen Shades of Black and Blue, you’ve got to wonder who pissed on (vocalist) David Best’s chips last year, with deeply sardonic lyrics at the song’s core that promise a good beating.
The band’s Neu-inspired brand of mesmerising monotony continues with a clutch of songs that see-saw between their two latest offerings, but ticket price alone is worth it for a hypnotising version of Collarbone.
The encore is a dynamic combination of Transparent Things, with a casual nod to Electro Karaoke and a cheeky snippet of Ankle Injuries for those paying attention; the whole mix seemingly constructed like a spot-the-song mash-up for die-hard fans.
A good set on the whole though personally a little heavy on new material – Fujiya & Miyagi releases tend to be growers and the set would have benefitted from stalwart numbers from their early years.
You can also read this review at We Are Low Culture