Holy Fuck, The Scala, London

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The Independent Culture

If you've never experienced the joys of Holy Fuck you'd probably assume that they are a hardcore thrash band, over-pierced anarchist punks or pimpled college kids trying to wind up their middle-class parents.

But behind the tongue-in-cheek name, the Canadian experimental act deliver a sublime psychedelic slab of analogue electronica that owes almost as much to Stockhausen as sweat-drenched indie/dance nights.

Rather than the in-your-face assault of their name, the four band members could almost be mistaken for roadies as they shuffle self-consciously on to the stage to make a final check over their Heath Robinson collection of old synths, children's keyboards and pedals. A brief nod between joint front men Brian Borcherdt and Graham Walsh before the opening bars of the Kraftwerk-esque "Milkshake" indicates that we're off. Each of the tracks they perform tonight – essentially seven from their 2007 album, LP, spliced together with half-a-dozen new nuggets – build up interlaced melodies, layered effects and samples with solid beats from drummer Matt Schulz and bassist Matt McQuaid.

There's no reliance on laptops, software and 21st-century instruments. Instead, Borchedt and Walsh create a twisted sonic assault with old school Casio keyboards, distorted live.

Next up is "Frenchy's", a ridiculously funky groove that any one of the current crop of Eighties-inspired dance acts would die to get their sticky paws on, before "Stilettos", the first of their new songs in the set. It seamlessly blends in with the older tracks, perhaps because the band write their material from live improvisation.

As the evening progresses, Holy Fuck's infectious sound starts to take over. At the start of the set, two superfans at the front are the only people dancing. But gradually, gentle swaying and appreciative head-nodding transforms into arms-in-the-air celebration. "Royal Gregory", with its distorted vocal samples and teasing mid-section, whips the masses up more. Two new tracks, "Greasefire" and "Dynamite Eyepatch", are eagerly lapped up before the first track off LP,"Super Inuit", sends the mob into full mosh-pit mode.

Then it's the one that most have been waiting for, "Lovely Allen", released as a single last year. The feelgood, haunting crescendo of sound sends everyone out into the night with a wide smile.

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