Live Music + Gig Reviews

Client @ Barfly, Cardiff

20 January 2006

The allure of electronic music for me has always been an exotic one. Being not really a connoisseur of the likes of Kraftwerk or even Depeche Mode, the quirky, playful and quintessentially Pop sounds of the likes of Ladytron, Barcelona and more recently The Knife have provided me with innocent and possibly nave thrills.

Ladytron in particular always symbolised for me a new humanisation of machine music, wry humour and knowing gestures essential in decorating the illusion of uber-cool detachment. But they came in from the outside, and this would possibly explain their accessibility.

Of course there’s a true lineage which is altogether harder to pierce for anyone without balls of steel, and this is what I’m about to experience tonight. Three girls with looks of mathematical perfection and nothing to grasp in the background. Three girls of impeccable anonymity who’ve yet spun a wide web of intrigue. Three girls; one of whom is Alan McGee’s wife; another born of the band Dubstar; and another fresh from the reality TV show Make Me A Supermodel. How in the hell will I relate?

Client tonight mean business, and business is their shtick. As dirty and cheap and debased as music comes, they stand amorally proud. Bassist Emily Strange postures for the whole of Cardiff, while the glint in lead singer Sarah Blackwood’s eyes is the only thing that portrays any visible warmth. If it wasn’t for this, I swear I’d have turned to stone already.

Space-age, silver latex suits, chiselled features, long legs, red lips and what can only be described as epic eyelashes, and this is just the stage manager, exit right. Client are like the last relics from your most erotic teenage dreams, and their music jumps like it doesn’t care for poet or rebel.

I have to admit I’m intimidated, but never really bored. There’s a genuine heart beating somewhere within the sheer faade, and I’m desperate to find it. Postures sway to impenetrable beats and staccato rhythms, lost souls finding solace in the nothingness, one after another succumbing to a new dark ruler. And then it happens. A love song. A moment of uncertainty, and a tinge of euphoria like a lightning bolt to the head.

The soul of a monument.

Client are beings etched in scenes by masters of nihilism, and their omniscience will beguile you in dreams.

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Client @ Barfly, Cardiff