Live Review: Free Love/Kaputt/Maranta @ Summerhall, Edinburgh, 02/08/19
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Image by Alice Gray
The best gigs make one feel part of something bigger and result in a loss of ego where the people around you are stripped of their foreignness, become less bodies to avoid and more souls in common communion. By the flag-waving finale of Free Love’s frantic acid house climax glimpsed intermittently through furious strobe lighting, it was clear that this Summerhall set had joined these illustrious ranks.
Edinburgh has a reputation for being more reserved versus the more populous, traditionally working-class Glasgow. At first, there is a little hesitancy from the crowd as Paradise Palms signee Maranta takes to the stage. As the arpeggiated synth loops and drum lines build, however, there is a chain reaction of sideways glances and nods of approval and the collective decision is made to advance and dance.Right on time, Kaputt’s six band members take their positions – a line-up comprised of two guitarists, a bassist, a saxophonist, drummer and percussionist. With such a full stage it would be easy to sound chaotic, but the group are remarkably coordinated, retaining their angular punch and passing riffs between them. Though complex and rhythmically engaging, Kaputt does tend to stay on one high-intensity level, never straying very far from this unresolved edginess and it becomes a tad tiresome after a while. Audience interaction here is also quite minimal, aside from the band’s complaint about the heat. It’s also difficult to find a direct musical or even philosophical connection between Kaputt and Free Love, where Maranta makes so much sense as an opening act. Breaking the fourth wall is not something Free Love does. This is partly because it’s never there in the first place and partly because, no matter how seemingly ostentatious, everything they do is carried out with a sincerity that refuses to permit ironic detachment.
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