Dean Blunt, Lord Tusk: Blade Factory, Liverpool
Dean Blunt served up songs like straight razors at Blade Factory, Getintothis' Aaron Farrell was sliced and diced by this great and mysterious performer.
Dean Blunt's live shows are far more than a musical experience. Think performance art led by a provocateur of sorts.
Our preconceived ideas of him pre-gig were of somebody the exact opposite. His few interviews have become famous for his pranking, giving you an air that he doesn't take anything seriously.
Come Saturday night when the spotlight hits his face, his posture coupled with his hand clenched to his left forearm suggests that he has an important message for you, and his vulnerability suggests that he's not that confident at all.
The essence of enigma was still there though; three microphone stands and a electronic guitar stood bare on the stage with no inkling as to how he approaches his music.
Dean Blunt at Blade Factory, Liverpool
Before he enters, the audience are gazing at a gloomy unlit stage for a good 10 to 15 minutes with a sense of growing anticipation, the speakers blasting out natural waterfall sounds as an appetiser.
Even in darkness, he enters stage with his cowboy hat observing the audience and walking back behind the stage; which left us thinking he was either absorbing the atmosphere or wanting to tease the Blade Factory crowd. The latter seemed to fit better.
He performed many of the tracks from Hippos In Tanks' recently imprinted The Redeemer.
Many of the sounds have a spiritual entity, something similarly found in Oneohtrix Point Never's R Plus Seven via simple but beautiful female choir synth sound; triggering our musical memory to the concluding part of Marvin Gaye's Mercy, Mercy Me, most notably in Y3.
In Demon he sings hesitantly alongside a pulsating drum beat, oddly reminiscent of The Wizard of Oz when Tin Man, Scarecrow and Co. were outside the Wicked Witch's castle to rescue Dorothy.
For the finale, we are treated to a different, but no less wonderful, rendition of Flaxen, with utopian spiraling harps and Eric Satie-inspired minimalistic piano approach underneath.
Lord Tusk at Blade Factory, Liverpool
Blunt's support act, Lord Tusk, helped to build up this world he created. You can tell by the violent loud kicks, snares and claps that it was music made to be amplified, not for little white iPod ear phones.
Tempos varied throughout and his short time paid homage to many electronic musical ideas from hip hop, machine funk with techno percs and hi-hats dispersing to every wall in the room.
Liverpool promoting team, Deep Hedonia, who brought Blunt to town, have had a storming year; John Loveless, ITAL, Palmistry and their formidable ARK showcases just a handful of their guests. It has been fruitful whirlwind of a year in musical experiences and we're very looking forward to see what's in store in 2014.
Pictures by Getintothis' Nata Moraru:
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