Manitoba

By Andy Parsons

While the rest of the musical universe seems to be selling its soul to silicon, it’s always quite refreshing to see people move the other way, case in point being Dan Snaith’s decision to leave the crisp, clean digital domain of Start Breaking My Heart behind him and turn this year's Up In Flames into a live tour de force mixing in everything from childrens toys, frogs, melodicas and a liberal dose of psychedelia.

Expanded to a trio for his live shows, Up In Flames is recreated almost in full with the band rapidly switching instruments, tempos and positions as the intricate melodies weave in and out of the speaker stacks. With most songs incorporating two drummers the sheer driving force of the record is brought to the fore, Twin, Skunks and Bijoux all benefiting from the boosted beats.

The full-on acid comedown of closing track Every Time She Turns Round It’s Her Birthday finishes the night perfectly as the accompanying videos merge and bleed together. It’s a fitting climax to a fantastic live show, leaving you wondering why the hell there aren’t more acts hitting the spot so perfectly in the live arena. Who’d have thought it’d take three men in bear masks to show them how it’s done?
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