The Body at Electrowerkz

Support: Uniform
May 15, 2017 at Electrowerkz
Promoter: Old Empire & Tidal Concerts

I had to rush to arrive from work, when I arrived I was drenched with sweat and needed a can like it was a second pair of lungs. There was neigh a setlist in sight, although, Electrowerkz is so fucking dark, you can barely see a thing in it when it’s filled with the black cloud of human tar that spends an evening consuming The Body.

When Uniform suddenly start playing, some daft cunt in an Oxbow t-shirt is staggering around the left-hand side of the barrier trying to grope the singer; he repeatedly moves around pieces of equipment and at times even has the gall to scream into a switched-off microphone. I’m standing to the right of him, feeling like at any minute I’m gonna have to break his jaw with my knee. Ill at ease. The band are surprisingly psychedelic and the screaming goes down in a manner reminiscent of a band like Cattle. Still, anytime the singer attempts to stand at the front of the stage this asshole grabs onto him and despite being told explicitly to fuck off, continues to harass the vocalist. Imagine my joy when this molester is eventually, much to his dismay, grabbed without consent by the security goons and hauled out of the building. There’s a small cheer in the crowd and everyone seems way happier now that selfish prick is no longer present. There’s no time for peace, love and understanding when someone is clearly endangering other people or touching them without invitation. Fuck people who go to gigs and do that shit. I knew The Body would attract an extreme crowd, but that guy was just extremely rude. Fuck him.

Thankfully, there was little in the way of incidents after this, a few people who forget what boundaries are remained, but at least it was just a little irritating and not actually something somewhat criminal. I still don’t like people who scream to the bands performing on stage either; every time I watch a heavy band there’s some insipid buffoon who thinks screaming is a secret language to talk to the band in; it’s not. You’re just a boorish idiot. I dunno what the plan is with that, maybe they dream of being pulled on stage so everyone can hear their awesome scream, more likely is that they’ll get a discerning shudder of disgust. Uniform were really impressive overall and it was cool to see a bit of a psyche twinge in the night, the duo reminded me of Cattle in some ways and it’d have been a lot better if my attention wasn’t diverted elsewhere in the audience for most of their set. It’s a shame the band had to put up with that shit.

What becomes clear live is that the idea that The Body are the heaviest band in the known universe is not an opinion, it’s a cold, unwavering fact. The duo create music that pressurises the listener’s brain with the weight of the amassed fathoms of an ocean. At times the performance is overwhelming, but there’s this almost shell-shocked serenity to it. A mind-cleansing, sense-numbing maelstrom of spine-shuddering screams dancing with eclectic waves of noise. The diversity of the brutality is astonishing, although, the group’s many collaborative efforts and original releases have seen them undergo many different forms, it is absolutely spectacular to witness these transmogrifications in the flesh.

I had wanted to use The Body as a band name myself when I was younger; to me, the name represents the horrifying realisation that our minds are locked into unworthy carnal prisons that hunger and lust and thirst and ache. It’s a different kind of body horror, one in which all sensation reaches its immediacy despite the separation and distance experienced by the mind at the helm. All of which is somehow contained in a brain. I don’t subscribe to a particular religion, though I accept Agnostic as a good descriptor of my beliefs, what remains important for me in this whole debate is that we think and we feel and communicate and we understand. The human body is like a mould on the surface of a rock in a strand of space and everything exists. With or without purpose, with or without direction, bound by mortality. To me, the body is existentialism incarnate and The Body represent the inconsolable pain of ideals and intellect shattered against the rocks of entropy in a sea of nihilism and hedonism and chaos. The physical form of a living entity is destroyed and with it washes away all those thoughts and feelings and ideals, even the memories are lost eventuality. Sometimes it’s ok to scream and to cry and to lash out because how else do you accept what you’re presented with? Waking up every day in a primitive world of animalistic sociology, of predators and prey? I wash it all away with the most intense experiences I can find, diluting my overworked brain with activity until it’s silent. Sometimes each thought is an enemy eating me away from the inside, an internal editor cutting away the optimism and romanticism I rely on to go on. I need noise to continue. I need chemicals to find balance in my brain. I wish I were a shooting star or a petal in the world but, instead I’m a crafty ape, using what I have to sustain myself for the gasp in which I live paled against an infinite cosmos. If The Body isn’t the best answer to that then I don’t know what is…maybe I misunderstood what was going on but, all I’m gonna say is that in life we either deal with what is presented to us or we cash out. When I’m presented with artistry on the scale of a band like The Body it spurs me on a little longer and in the face of everything that is going on, I can’t understate the importance and sheer rarity of that as an experience.

The Body are one of the best acts in music today and if they’re in your neck of the woods do yourself a favour and wash your mind away with a calming shore of noise so heavy that it’ll rupture your consciousness into a meditative powder of sleeping fragments.

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