Tuesday, January 27

A live review | Lucky Dragons

Last night I experienced something incredible when I went to watch Lucky Dragons at the Luminaire. This was not their first time performing over in the UK but it was my first time watching them, although to say that I watched them is inaccurate for I became a participant in their magical musical circuit board. I was one of the improvisers who was lucky enough to get the chance to handle their remarkable instruments.

They positioned themselves off-stage, deep in the crowd and people formed a circle around them. I managed to seat myself right in front of the action half expecting to become part of it (based on what I heard from people who had seen them before) but not expecting to experience the music in the way that I did.

Positioned next to the duo was a laptop which was not only to provide the backing music but also became a key instrument itself as Luke Fischbeck (one half of the duo also comprising Sarah Rara) literally warped the sounds live with the click of a mouse, as their performance unfolded. On the floor lay a number of percussive instruments and wires wrapped in gaffer tape which were all connected to an eight-track mixer. The duo improvised two songs with the instruments and microphones and then let the audience join in. Starting with me and a couple of others, we were shaking rods making a wonderful rattling noise which boomed over the PA. Then the fun really began as the two people either side of me were given what looked like wires covered in tape then Luke put my hands on top of each of theirs and soon an incredible high pitched treble sound bellowed, a noise which I would liken to the cacophony of sound made by a cluster of theremins with some distortion thrown in for good measure. It was truly incredible. I was a conductor in the electrical and musical sense of the word as my contact with these two people created the music the rest of the crowd were enjoying. It didn't take long for people to realise this and soon everyone was making contact with each other as part of a mass intimate musical improvisation.

Lucky Dragons passed on more of these wonderful rods to other trios connecting us in a huge circle formation, the resonance of sound was fantastic and their was not a single person in the crowd who was not beaming. Kaleidoscopic visuals supplemented the music but were unnecessary for the participants like myself because being part of this magical creation was more colourful in spirit than I can put across in words. The whole show was, well, electrifying. It was incredible how they brought people together and how everyone responded.

Dream Island Laughing Language is in my opinion a terrific album delivered by the duo last year on Upset The Rhythm but honestly, the music on the album almost belies the intricate detail in which it was created and once you see the mechanics of this process and how the music is constructed, it is fascinating. As much as I urge you to pick up a copy of this record, the musical experience of Lucky Dragons is, in my humble opinion, one which is best experienced live.

The band are touring mainland Europe right now. Tour dates can be found on the Southern Records website

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