Transelement are a youthful fullsome threesome from Lancashire, full of angst and with some great pieces of music with which to let the angst flood out. At times with their thrashier numbers sounding like an early Metallica and then, in their more ambient areas like a developing Aphex Twin, they offer surprising changes of beat and mood within as well as between songs and follow all this up by sending their northern accents up something like diabolically.
Being a graduate of Lancaster University, it could be said that I am rather partial to Lancashire accents, endearing as they are to someone who has to listen to “aaaaht geez” and “wight mate” daaaaaan saaaaf, but Transelement managed to sound like thoroughly pleasant people in the midst of the music, while at the same time commanding attention and holding stage presence.
What a pity, in fact, that they left the stage. An interminable gap followed before a motley collection of travelling tinkers appeared, trumping Transelement by being Scottish into the bargain. Somebody aged and bald, sporting a suit and a cigarette as though it were a prop in some unimaginably ghastly Noel Coward AmDram production, appeared and drawled in Glaswegian at us about the headline act, The Nectarine No.9, who were still unceremoniously tuning up, nattering to each other and generally ignoring the audience.
The fossil descended from the stage and returned whence he came, but thereafter it got worse. FOUR (I ask you) electric guitars were apparently necessary, in addition to a Casio keyboard, a bass and drums. One of the guitarists had his back to the audience the entire time, while another looked like Richard Fairbrass‘s long-lost brother. Still another was (ostensibly, at least) the lead vocalist, a stout chap with the look of a used tea bag about him who, for some reason, decided that EVERY song had to end by him falling to his knees and sticking his manky guitar against an amplifer. This, needless to say, would have been quite horrendous enough if it wasn’t for the fact that the ensuing noise was infinitely more listenable than his vocals.
Oh well, you win some and you lose some. Even recent single Constellations Of My Vanity was played as if the band were in the rehearsal room rather than playing to an expectant audience. When they finally left the stage to lacklustre applause, the lights came straight up. No encore was really necessary, after all.