black midi are back: bigger, and weirder, than ever.
If you are one of the handful of people who haven’t seen black midi’s KEXP performance in Reykjavik then I advise you in the strongest possible terms to correct that error as soon as humanly possible. It paints a compelling and bizarre portrait. Until earlier this year this was almost immediately confirmed when those who, having seen that video, would take to Spotify only to find a (quite mediocre) cover of ‘Feliz Navidad’. We live in changed days, however. Following their Mercury Prize nominated debut ‘Schlagenheim’, the band are generating a lot of excitement and riding a sudden wave of popularity.
Their increasing buzz is reflected in the size of venue they’ll play this time out. In February they played to a packed Monarch, and, ahead of next week’s show, they’ve already sold out Lido. This year has also seen them playing a showcase at SXSW while touring extensively in Europe and the UK. Their music style, strikingly angular and abrasive is reminiscent of fellow British bands such as the Fall and The Pop Group. A punk sensibility runs prominently through their sound as well as their apathetic approach to public relations. This is all the more impressive given that the band have barely surpassed their teenage years.
To see such a young, exciting and ‘fully formed’ group emerge is not a common phenomenon. Given the success of Shame and Fontaines D.C. in recent years it feels as though post-punk is having something of a moment. Whilst there is some truth to this, black midi’s blind refusal to conform or to play the game make them stand out from this current vogue. Whether they can sustain this enigmatic approach, whether the wheels will come off and it will all fall apart… thats anyone’s guess. But the chance to catch them at this raw embryonic stage feels essential.
black midi play Lido on the 7th October.
A Scottish troubadour, scientist, writer. Jack of few trades.