65 Days Of Static – live review

The Cavern, Exeter, 24th October 2005


‘See you on the road until the fuels runs dry’.


The declaration inscribed on the sleeve of their new album is confirmation of this band’s commitment to relentless touring.  Having played more gigs this year than any other UK band, you’d think 65DAYSOFSTATIC would be dead.  Or craving a night in their own beds, at the very least.  And, admittedly, it wasn’t the faces of rested men sitting behind their own merch stall before emerging on stage last Monday night; in response to a question posed about his shattering schedule, an edgy, almost haunted cackle expulsed from the mouth of frontman Joe Shrewsbury.  But the non-stop touring has paid off: a stifling, seething Cavern awaited their routine.


Presenting a collection of pieces from both their debut and new album, and opening with the chest-piercing ‘Drove through ghosts to get here’, the band had every member of the crowd clenched in a can’t-catch-your-breath vice-like grip.  The new songs, more frenetic than previous efforts, perhaps reflect the style of existence endured by the three-piece during the last year.  Their desperation is both visually and aurally forced on those present yet, after each thunderous 5-minute deluge, Shrewsbury interjected, with sweat trickling from his frame, to announce a tentative ‘Thank you very much’.  As the set climaxed with live favourite ‘Retreat Retreat’ the crowd, whether a majority of adherents before the night or not, was as one.


But it’s not just the courteous appreciation of fans’ devotion which marks this band apart.  Their sound is utterly incomparable with any so-called contemporary.  For much of their performance, electronic beats and beeps clash with infinite, deafening guitar.  Yet, as a reward for the Cavern’s endurance, the band closed the night with a piano driven neo-concerto; as unpretentious and sincere as the band members’ gratitude.


A girl smiles, blood dribbling from her mouth.  And in that, 65DAYSOFSTATIC’s ethic is encapsulated: they induce a brand of masochism, something to be willingly suffered with a click of the heels and a grin on the lips.  Failure to comply would result in Shrewsbury gently asking you to leave- knowing you’ll never find the exits. 


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