Klaxons live, image taken from Gigwise

Klaxons live, image taken from Gigwise

Klaxons (Surfing The Void Tour)

Venue: Manchester Academy

Location: Manchester

Date: Nov 11 2010

Label: Polydor

Rating: 3.4/5


With a couple of years off the radar (discounting a few one off shows) Klaxons have returned with their eagerly awaited second album, Surfing The Void. Following the release of their follow-up album to the acclaimed debut, Myths of the Near Future, Klaxons announced a UK tour that would commence at Manchester Academy.

Surfing The Void is certainly a development on their debut, a change in style that gives the band more of a rock inclination in contrast to their “nu-rave”, dance-esque origins. Klaxons spent much of their early career attempting to rid the attachment between their name and the genre tag “nu rave”, going as far as banning glow sticks in 2007. Although its appearance is now much less frequent in the media, it was apparent that their fan base still flaunts vibrant and eccentric attire that was originally coined with the term.

Fiction, the opening and only support act was a peculiar booking, a London four-piece with one single on a low-key record label. The obscurity of Fiction made them somewhat suited to a Klaxons gig, however, instrumentally the band were extremely minimal; not hugely suitable for lifting the atmosphere.

Klaxons set included most songs from both LP’s, clearly aiming to promote the release of their second full-length. Two months after the release of Surfing The Void, Klaxons left fans plenty of time to familiarise themselves with new songs; however, the crowd’s interest in debut album tracks over the new record was quite obvious.

Atlantis to Interzone, Gravity’s Rainbow and Golden Skans got the best response from the crowd, their captivating choruses echoing around the full length of the venue: “come with me, come with me, we’ll travel to infinity”.

With bands as innovative as Klaxons, it’s easy to assume that their live performances will be sloppy, simply because of the complexity of the elements layered throughout the majority of their songs. It’s quite understandable that Klaxons headlined the NME stage at Reading and Leeds this summer just a few days after the release of their second album – as Klaxons are pretty much impeccable on-stage. The high notes, fast riffs and intricate basslines are in no way damaged in performance, almost justifying the higher-end price of the tour tickets and unarguably low-key support act.

Surfing The Void hasn’t been subject to as much hype as its predecessor, but the record’s mature and innovative style is flawless live. A combination of the live execution of Surfing the Void and the energy in tracks on their debut could lead to a remarkable third.

~ Article by James Murray

Written for PR1 Music