Secret Machines: Ruby Lounge


Well, that was loud. On a MBV scale (with MBV at 10, or should that be 11?), Secret Machines at the Ruby Lounge last night was a 7.5.

This morning it feels like I’m wearing ear muffs and my senses are a little jaded, but it was worth it. Secret Machines are definitely a different beast live to on record. Eschewing some of the subtlety and layering I’ve come to know of the band, this was more of an onslaught. It has to be said that it took a while for the sound to settle in, with the second track, the joyously melancholy ‘Lightening Blue Eyes’, seemingly bereft of the driving bass that makes it so memorable.

Once the requisite tweaking was performed, the Machines succeeded in battering me into submission. Backlit by simple white lights, and on a very low stage, I managed only the occasional glimpse of the three-piece. Yet these stolen observations will remain with me, particularly those of the hair and sticks hybrid that is drummer Josh Garza.

secret-machines-2[Additional image by Pete C]

Final pre-encore track of ‘The Walls Are Starting to Crack’, with its psyched-out middle section breaking up the claustrophobia, suitably dismissed any lingering fears I had about the band –  I’ve seen them likened to an unsavoury set of contemporaries that to mention here would only soil. The encore of ‘Alone, Jealous and Stoned’ and ‘First Wave Intact’ was, for want of a better word, huge.

Oh and for the record, support acts Filthy Dukes and Bicycle Thieves sound like Hot Chip and Editors respectively: nothing offensive, but significantly less than startling.

The Walls Are Starting to Crack

Alone, Jealous and Stoned

The Fire is Waiting – they didn’t play this, but with its Godzilla proportioned riff it’s worthy of inclusion here.

Buy, bye-bye.



About angrybonbon

Both Bars On's Manchester correspondent

Posted on February 13, 2009, in Gig reviews and tagged . Bookmark the permalink. 3 Comments.

  1. really enjoyed your post on the secret machines, i used to love that band. cool blog man

  2. Cheers Mr. Wheezus.

  3. Fantastic. My main memory of seeing them is how good the drumming was – really powerful, metronomic stuff. I want to see them again now!

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