Risen from the ashes of The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster, less like an eagle and more like a phoenix: Piano Wire encompass everything 80s had set out to be and more. A mash of genre and angst-summoning visions of post-punk emptiness and surrealist bone-crushing psycho-rock.
A sudden surge of sound, a build up of howling guitars and thrashing bass announce the bands arrival to the stage like a siren. Blasting their way through Fossils with it’s confident dark swagger and jaunty 60’s feel sets the tone. Pop-fuelled punk rock that would fit just as well on a prime time radio show as it would in the back room of a rock club. Progressing through a set of short but sweet punchy numbers the band powers through old and new material comprising of bites of genre mashed exhilaration. The bands visceral energy and dirty feel shine through.
‘Are you The Vaccine?’, ‘Blue Canyon Eyes’ and ‘Rollercoaster’ are just a few of the highlights of the night. A powerful backline combo of Sym Gharial and Tim Venning on drums and bass are outstanding and feel like the true soul of the swinging stomping sound. Mixing together the feel of there predecessors with the darker aspects of Queens of the Stone Age, The Pixies and the Cramps it’s familiar yet new in a refreshing way.
Slower cleaner tracks like ‘I’ll Kill You’ and ‘The Orchid’ change things round without losing any of the pace and excitement of the night. Showcasing the guitar and vocal work of Andy Huxley and Sean Duke the slower numbers show another side to the already multi-facetted four piece.
The more dreamy melancholic twinge seems to fit well and for me where the more stand out moments of the evening showing that you don’t always need cutting distortion and fast paced stage antics to invoke a feeling of anger through a song.
The band close to a cacophony of riotous applause: I feel exhausted just from watching them! Piano Wire brandish a real skill for their craft and are certainly carving a niche with their own sound my only qualm is for all the drive and furiosity of the material the performance seems a little forced at times which is a shame as the songs really do have the potential to speak for themselves without any need for the focus on style and on stage rock’n’roll clichés.
Words: Luke Goodhand
Photos: Rowan Zynoni