Manchester Retro Bar, 23/1/5
Thankfully, after the self imposed gluttony endured during Xmas, and the traditional bleak January blues, a dedicated
few can be bothered to get off their now larger backside and make/play/put on some live music.
So thanks to Vman Productions, the Manchester based Khyber Pass take their
place on a stage at Retro bar, that is only marginally larger than a toilet
When there are 5 band members, this in itself would prove difficult enough,
but for their occupation of the stage, they play their own, looped tape, whilst
standing just of stage. At the acknowledged point, they all appear and attempt
to negotiate the obstacle course of foot pedals and instruments. The
keyboardist is positively jammed against the wall for the duration of the set, so
much so that when his micstand falls over, someone else has to retrieve it for
Undeterred, they launch into their versions of, intense blitzkriegs of noise
glory, which are interspersed with more relaxed, less intense meanderings.
If we are in the throes of a 70's revival, then it looks like the increasingly
popular musical trend is for song durations of the prog-rock era, and tonight
the songs rarely reside within the typical 3 minute pop span.
Perhaps "Explosions In the Sky" are having an impact in inverse proportion to
their record sales, as nuances of such an influences are perceptible in the
frenetic build up, the intense, chiming guitars and the dramatic, false endings.
With a voice that seems to be an amalgam of all things American, whether it
be the half strangled utterance of Bruce Springsteen ,or the semi spoken
manner of Tom Waits, it does suit the overall sound and the occasional rolling
piano licks provide a respite from the guitar interplay.