After seeing Canshaker Pi earlier this year at Brighton’s Great Escape festival in May I was really eager going into their co-headline gig with Avalanche Party at The Victoria in Dalston. The Quartet, based in Amsterdam, played a near-capacity show at Brighton’s Komedia and thrilled the audience with their signature creative dissonance, playful pop writing, and fun lyrics.
Tonight’s performance was a slight let down. Having replaced their drummer and second guitarist/ vocalist it became apparent this had dampened their energy on stage with the quartet resembling four deer caught in the headlights for the majority of the show. They came across rather stale compared to the energetic and lively show they played in Brighton earlier this year.
Sadly their performance wasn’t helped by the venue’s poor sound with the bass drowning out the vocals and lots of guitars. You could see they were having sound difficulties on stage with the constant signaling to the sound guy at the mixing desk and it made the show slightly uncomfortable sound wise with their levels being slightly overbearing. Whilst not completely the bands fault nothing was done to help the situation despite the band playing for at least half an hour.
The set livened up a bit with their performance of ‘Potwash’ about halfway through the show, with the rest of the set bringing the energy levels up. The quartet was by no stretch musically bad which was a redemption for their bad sound and lacking energy. They were clearly rehearsed and knew their material, it was just communicating their songs to the audience which left me unconvinced.
I hope to see Canshaker Pi build from this gig as I really believe they are a great band. Their album ‘Naughty Naughty Violence’ that came out earlier this year was super and a great blend of visceral punk rock and grunge and sweetly performed pop numbers with memorable hooks and choruses. They can be compared best to the Pixies, but have similar qualities to Parquet Courts, REM, and Dinosaur Jr. A band worth listening to and hopefully soon to go see too.