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The Visit @ The Portland Arms, Cambridge

(29th October 2002)

Iíd sit through a lot to hear a song like The Tofu Escape Clause played like it should be played Ė live and intense. This is lucky for The Visit. Donít get me wrong, Iím all for NEW! DIFFERENT! and EXPERIMENTAL! But I canít bear self-indulgent and the half-hour pre-set by The Vist and Friends is located at the wrong end of the scale. Yes, stick a computer and sampler into the guitar-mangling mess, but donít just let it loop a beat for ten minutes because it can. Stop when it stops being interesting. Yes, youíve got breakbeats so by all means try a bit of rapping, but letís leave lyrics like "Lifeís a bitch and I wanna fuck it" in the note book. Yes, with the electro backing Jake would be Marc Almond if he could only be confident in the music. And you can tell he isnít. And neither am I.

So weíre half an hour in and Iím beginning to think I should have stayed home and done the stuff I need to do for work tomorrow. And when you start thinking about work while youíre at a gig you know somethingís not right. And then half the band jump off the stage. Itís Tofu. Seven minutes long. Bliss. Drums hit harder than any since Keith Moon. Hypnotic. Tune, no tune, tune, noise. Yesssss. This is why Iím here. Complex and simple, itís going to be labelled post-rock but itís different and better because the singer isnít buried in the mix, a last-minute short-straw addition. And Tofu is a song. A song written by a singer who knows this backing is the bulldogís bollocks. A song teased out and remodelled and twisted and pushed and pulled and played over and over and over and tautened and stretched and soon to be a 20 minute epic and itíll still be fucking brilliant. The only way they could have topped Tofu was to play Silence The Poet (from their second demo) next. They did. I melted. www.thevisit.org


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