Not Squares, Skibunny DJs
Even great bands can have the odd, unexpected poor gig. Some even, on the rare occasion have complete mares. It happens, accepted as just part of the business. A punched wall, a few choice words, maybe even a kicked in bass drum later and all is forgotten. It's a fate that seems to befall all acts, except, for some unexplainable reason - electro mentalists, Not Squares.
This reviewer is still waiting, approaching each new NS gig with a foreboding feeling that "Yes, this will be their MGMT at Electric Picnic moment". But just like the 'invincibles' Arsenal team of past years (ED: watch it..), Not Squares are practically unstoppable, producing flawless performance after performance.
But first, to the support. A rather average set from Ski Bunny's Mark kicked the night off. It sat awkwardly between trying to serve both the gigging crowd, but also the regular Saturday night Stiff Kitten disco brigade. Unfortunately, to anyone not looking at the actual stage, it would have been easy to think someone had just stuck on iTunes shuffle behind the bar.
It was a late gig by Belfast standards, with doors opening at ten o'clock. By the time Not Squares had guitars tuned and keyboards programmed it was nearly half twelve, and this reviewer was starting to flag. Though the lethargic feelings were replaced by a strange urge to fight the tiredness and dance like an idiot - roughly 5 seconds into the infectious 'Harold Mount (Release The Beast)'.
And this is what Not Squares do best. Practically grabbing their audience by the collar, demanding undivided, unequivocal attention, and dancing; lots of crazy dancing.
Like most of their songs, the set was short, sweet and delivered at a blistering pace. There's rarely band-to-crowd banter from the Belfast electro outfit - the music itself does the talking.
Highlights included ANOTHER new version of 'Yeah', the bands biggest and most recognizable tune to date. It's a song this reviewer hopes they never get tired of performing, and if that means reinventing it for every gig, then so be it. The chorus alone is worth turning up for. A slightly trance version of 'You're Still Drunk' had the cool kids throwing shapes and finally, the highlight of the set, new single 'Asylum', which was so insane, mental, madcap, crazy, it should have been locked up... you get the picture. By the end of the night the trio had whipped the crowd up in to a proverbial frenzy, with the tone of the set occupying a strange place in music between Hot Chip and happy hardcore.
So, another stunning performance by Not Squares, but this winning streak wont last, can't last - the laws of the nightmare gig say otherwise.