How lo can you go?
Friday 03 October 1997
The Concorde, Brighton
The most telling indication of who the are occurs at the bar before they have even walked on stage.
After that, sense is impossible as an onslaught of high decibels comes with a collage of record scratching, samples and psychedelic vocals.
"Being trendy is... well really trendy people just don't care," come the words of wisdom. This particular night justifies this. The older fans , metalheads, hip-hoppers with the baggy trousers and skimpy skirts courtesy of house music fans are all united. Not caring about anything. Just happy to be here - together.
They surge as one when funk music courtesy of the keyboard man, `Sheriff Jon Stone' aka Matt begins the set.
There is a lull before bringing on the noise from the scratching and sampling of Albino Priest Phil, the bullet shielding drumming of `The Slammer' aka Johnny, (relative) moments of sanctity from the bass player A One Man Crowd Called Gentilee Andy, and the sprawling lyrics and the drawling voice of `Wrecked Train' Dave. The Lo Fidelity Allstars are unique in more than stage names. Only two singles released but major record labels are flapping cheque books in a frenzy not seen since Oasis.
After the first single, Kool Roc Bass the Lo-Fis toured with The Seahorses and had the nod from old-timers Primal Scream. Daily they turn down the chance to do remixes for the more mainstream likes of Robbie Williams and Iggy Pop.
The Lo Fis are something your mother definitely wouldn't understand. And when in the throes of puberty, you don't understand why all these raving feelings are throbbing in your body either.
The first track is a remix of Pigeonhead (industrial noise), barely recognisable as cut on top with five different types of music: the hip- hop of the scratching, the dance influence in the samples, the indie guitars and the punk vocals.
There hasn't been this kind of dancing seen since itching powder was a ruse at school. By the second song those whose legs and arms aren't akimbo appear stunned at the co-ordination of so many different sounds.
And as if the wall of sound was not enough, they have a little dabble with psychedelia.
The performance comes to its end with mixes of the new single `Disco Machine Gun Pts 1 & 2'. The DJ's head hasn't stopped bobbing and now the vocalist is having trouble dropping his rock-star swagger to let the samples take precedence.
The bass player moves near him as if to say, "Stay cool mate. No don't sing yet." Working together they have as much energy as the powerful punk- paste noise produced.
The Lo Fidelity Allstars should carry this health warning: these are the people who have exploded the history of music and taken the pieces of psychedelic 60s, stapled it to the physiological effects of 80s acid house, and dropped into the late 70s punk with all the unleashed anger that entails.
How could anyone understand?
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