Live review: Henge @ Voodoo Rooms, Edinburgh, 25/11/18
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Henge, a multi-species collective made up of a cyborg, a Venusian, an amphibious humanoid and a time-displaced synthesiser guru from the 1960s, have descended on planet Earth to promote disarmament, cosmopolitanism, space exploration and a unique cross of acid rave, spaghetti western and psychedelia.
that we have Egebamyasi, whose acid techno with an abrasive digital edge is more eccentric than it is evocative. Unfortunately, while although sensorially overwhelming, there seems little substance behind the cacophony of sound and imagery, and his incorporation of pop music vocal samples is particularly unartful.
Henge, by contrast, relegate their visuals to a tasteful complement. However, the crude CGI work sometimes fails to capture the complexity of some of the songs’ messages, particularly the faux flames in the global warming apocalypse number.
It seems Gallifrey too has a North as the cyborg addresses the gathered crowd under the glint of the Voodoo Rooms’ glitterball and praises humanity on its progress. The band then launches into a ‘Knights of Cydonia’-esque jam with a lot of tremolo bar action and quivering organ tones.
Image courtesy of Henge via Sonic PR
Their leader climbs onstage wearing a magnificent headdress topped with a plasma globe and carrying a lantern staff from which exudes a purple glow. The Venusian joins him behind a stack of bass synthesisers, the amphibian mounts a drum stool and the hippy positions hovers his fingers over the flamboyantly bedecked organ.But before all of
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‘In Praise of Water’ is perhaps the craziest song on the setlist. It’s introduced by the cyborg who prefaces the tune with the question, “Do you like substances?” What follows is truly unhinged acid techno that really gets the crowd mixed up.Henge closes with the song that all of the month-long fans have been waiting for. ‘Demilitarise’ is the perfect note to end the gig on with its inspirational call to end the arms race and get behind space technology. The repetitive chant is taken up by every single person in the room until it becomes solely acapella, and the collective will is solidified. It’s difficult to leave without the sense that a powerful call-to-action has been enacted. Henge play Leicester tonight (30th November), Liverpool on Saturday 1st December, Hebden Bridge on 7th December and Manchester on 8th December.
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