It was a clement Sunday evening on the 13th of May. Not an evening you’d typically associate with popping down to Bau Wow, but then that’s probably true of any other evening too, unless one of the most exciting acts to come out of London of late decides to show up there.
In that case, Sunday evening or not, you know only too well that you’ll be in Bau Wow affixing a mandatory glow in the dark necklace around your quirky neck and buying an overpriced bottled lager without question.
This was the state of affairs on this particular Sunday evening. Otzeki were due to play the last night of their successful headline tour in Brighton. This came off the back of their exquisite and sumptuous debut record, ‘Binary Childhood.’ The Offie Mag team plus some assorted civilians sauntered down the dark, musky steps of what we were slightly perturbed to find was an eerily vacant Bau Wow. How could this be? Otzeki had played some packed out shows on the tour in France, Belgium, Holland and beyond, and now had the tricky task of playing to around fifteen expectant faces on a Sunday in Brighton. However, anyone having had the pleasure of seeing them before could have told you that this would not be an issue. And so it wasn’t.
They put on an unforgettably immersive and vivacious performance for the few of us fortunate Brighton dwellers who showed up. Our Sunday was irrevocably bettered. Not only was the performance typically brilliant and replete with the essential semi-nakedness and confrontational vigour which has come to characterise Otzeki’s live shows – it was also, musically speaking, sublime.
They opened with ‘Pay The Tax,’ the first single released off their album, and continued to pepper us from first to last with their relentlessly catchy and beautifully textured catalogue of songs. Haunting falsetto-driven melodies turned into viscerally expelled cries into the microphone. Beautifully simple guitar riffs surfed and glided on top of a carefully crafted bed of electronic beats and samples which seemed to be simultaneously fluid and fricative; silky and coarse. All of this testament to Otzeki’s unquestionable ability to create genuinely intelligent and extremely listenable electronic pop music.
It’s to the detriment of Brighton and its seemingly muffled current music scene that there weren’t more people there to see this fantastic performance. Perhaps Sunday can be blamed, alongside a plethora of other reasons. Nonetheless, those of us who were there are the lucky ones, and best not to forget it.