Live Music + Gig Reviews

Ladytron @ ULU, London

31 August 2007



“Broken glass is luxury. Friendly fires or alchemy. Daylight is the enemy. Witching hour, soft power…”

The industrial fug permeates, the smoke machines settle and Ladytron emerge from their underworld once more, extending their nebulous tentacles.

Tonight their set draws mainly from their last LP, the industrial synth rock book of spells that was Witching Hour.

The clientele are a cross section of indie kids, cyber punks, Goths and rather large men with bald heads and broad shoulders. Are we under Ladytron’s thumb? With no new songs and no crowd interaction – quite possibly.

At this stage in their existence, we desperately want to hear what new delights they have been brewing. Despite being on the road from the tail end of 2006 rounding off the Witching Hour, throughout 2007 supporting Nine Inch Nails on much of their world tour and Reuben Wu and Mira Aroyo’s summer DJ tour of the States, the band are said to have readied 20 new songs for their next album.

You can’t complain, too much at least, as in the meantime we’re blessed with a quaint reminder of why we love Ladytron: Mira and Helen Marnie’s ice cool double act; the squalling drone of High Rise; the sleaze hypnotics of True Mathematic; the cryptic burble of Discotraxx, and the dreamy ripple and fuzz of International Dateline.

There isn’t much movement from the band. They stand stock still, and at times the sound clots to weigh in a little flabby. After the initial burst of excitement when they took to the stage, the space at front eases, though a few of their hardcore fans refuse to stop dancing through the whole show.

The Last One Standing cuts through the moist gig air just as the air conditioning blows a cool breeze over the back of our heads for the encore, which is delightfully wrapped up with the shoulder jerker’s anthem Destroy Everything You Touch.

It wasn’t a perfect gig, but it was a perfect moment, of which there are sure to be more.

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