LIVE REVIEW: Parastatic, Cumberland Arms, Newcastle


IT’S well documented that krautrock has experienced a revival of late, its synth-tinged sounds and propulsive grooves snagging a generation who missed its initial German inception.

Spawned from the North East’s own mini-scene, Parastatic surely rank among the finest modern exponents; their spacey, psychedelic slant on the genre exhibited with distinction on new LP Recall Fade Return.

Moreover, the trio have spent recent years establishing themselves among our region’s most exciting live acts - with Thursday’s album launch coming as one of their most dazzling appearances to date.

Preceded by the beguiling ambient drone of Charles Dexter Ward and the measured, slow-burning guitar pop of Nano Kino, their performance was a visual as well as an audio spectacle, illuminated by enveloping strobes and angular projected backdrops.

It’s a luxury which enhances an already intoxicating palette, characterised by Jon Garrard’s throbbing basslines, Neil Caffery’s reverb-bathed guitar chimes and drummer Rachel Casey’s compelling kraut flow.

These elements manifested in a series of superlative soundscapes, the majority lifted from the new record.

Saint Mary, for instance, struck something of a middle-ground between Spacemen 3 (whose Big City they later covered) and celestial post-rock, its steady, mid-paced progress permeated by towering, euphoric peaks which made for a blinding live proposition.

Another new cut, Arches, was no less sensational, its programmed beat and electric rhythmic pulse providing the night’s most danceable moment, while established number GlaxoChem brought the type of dense, climatic crescendo perfectly befitting its penultimate position.

It’s true that Parastatic’s songs are capable of speaking for themselves - but in this setting they’re transformed into stellar aural explosions, infused with absorbing lighting and infectious onstage energy.

Whenever and wherever their next local appearance, you could do far worse than get yourself along.