Live: Clock Opera @ Sound Control
Playing an inexplicable second fiddle to Chapel Club’s flat-out uninteresting headline set, those who managed to arrive early enough were rewarded with a fierce and genuinely exciting half hour from experimental synth-rock titans Clock Opera.
Apart from a quick introduction, the band didn’t seem to be too interested in crowd interaction, but the all-too-short set contained enough diversity and raw power to draw their admittedly sparse audience in.
Frontman and songwriter Guy Connelly’s delicate voice bears a definite resemblance to Elbow’s Guy Garvey, but the thunder behind him points at something a hell of a lot more elemental. At times the painstaking sound manipulation on the pre-made samples brought to mind the wavy psychedelia of Feels-era Animal Collective, which only serves as a testament to their songcraft. Their over-reliance on these samples may have put some purists off, but the pot-bashing, crazy-dancing stage presence was more than enough to keep the audience on side.
Samples aside, Clock Opera can also boast a pretty impressive musical proficiency. The drums were sprawling but thoroughly grounded, and Connelly’s voice was haunting and powerful in equal measure, expertly backed by precise and deep harmonies.
Set closer and most recent single ‘Lesson No.7’ started off a with a spooky, chiming manipulated guitar loop and gradually built to a furious bass-heavy hurricane that drew the set to a pretty colossal conclusion.