The Domino State - Night & Day - 11.8.10

The Domino State make intensely brooding epic musical landscapes - the sort that Editors used to aim for before they looked to Lady Gaga and Gary Numan for inspiration and the sort that Chapel Club were dreaming of while still in university.

Going against the first proper England match since their World Cup fail and the students out of Manchester at large makes this gig a far cry from recent German tours where they're greeted by obsessive fans or recently where they supported Coldplay at the O2 arena in London.

Now with an expanded line up featuring violinist, there's an orchestral majesty that adds hints of Hope Of The States and Arcade Fire to the already apparent influences of My Bloody Valentine and the fierce intensity of Joy Division. Normally restricted to the obligatory 30 minute support slot with the likes of M83 and Longview, this headline tour in support of the album "Uneasy Lies the Crown" allows them toindulge and relish their impressive catalogue of which they play all but one of the albums 11 tracks tonight.

These aren't songs so much, as mini symphonies and the extended intro of feedback and rumbling bass sounds hints at great things before they launch into "For Now", with almost military-esque drums, a rich building wall of sound and chiming guitars. "You're The Winter" hints at 80s stadium rock, but has more intricacies than you expect from your punching fists in the air stadium standard. By the time they head into "What's The Question", a reworked version of the earlier single version you may have heard, it's clear that this is the most simplest song of the recent set and comparatively doesn’t really reach the epic heights of the newer songs. Similarly "Pompeii", while beautiful on record, doesn’t really reach the intensity of the other material.

"We Must Not Shut Ourselves Away" is a song where the simplicity works in its favour, the guitar effects are stripped away and keeps driving and pounding away to a guitar solo, the sort you'd expect Johnny Marr to layer over "Twisted Tenderness" era Electronic or recent Cribs work. This Oubliette" touches another Manchester reference point in that it could quite easily be off the debut Doves album.

By rights they should be absolutely massive, even with sound problems tonight they remain an enthralling live act, but with guitar music out of vogue and those that get a look in being throwaway and disposable indie pop acts you feel their time in the spotlight come later rather than sooner. For now their small group of obsessive’s have to savour the Domino State as their little secret.

Alex McCann


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