Rangda - The Brudenell Social Club - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Rangda - The Brudenell Social Club

by Andy Brown Rating: Release Date:

The Brudenell seems to be packing the back end of the year with some pretty impressive acts. We've already had mind-expanding sets from the likes of Julian Cope and Om while Boris, Moon Duo, The Twilight Sad and The Fall are all making appearances further down the line. So while it's still clearly early days, I'm tempted to say that rock-mystics Rangda may have just played the gig of the year.

Named after a Balinese demon-queen, Rangda consist of three terrifyingly brilliant musicians and make a sound both cerebral and muscular. I'll introduce the band: There's Sir Richard Bishop; cult hero and guitar virtuoso who's been exploring the outer regions of eastern-influenced rock since his days in the subversively influential Sun City Girls. There's Ben Chasny; a versatile and prolific musician who often plays under the Six Organs of Admittance moniker. And finally there's Chris Corsano; prolific collaborator and human drum-machine, Corsano has played with everyone from Mick Flower to Bjork. The band are definitely at the credible end of the 'super-group' scale and have recently released their second LP on Drag City, the so-good-it-hurts Formerly Extinct.

First up, however, we get a set from Lisbon, Portugal five-piece Gala Drop. Gala Drop play a particularly exciting brand of psychedelic-funk-soul (if such a thing exists!) which reverberates around the Brudenell like the sound of the best house-party ever (you know, one where they're actually playing good music). Its music like this that makes genre labels seem hopelessly inadequate. The band instinctively locks into each fluid groove to create vibrant, joyous and hypnotic waves of sound. At one point, Ben Chasny stands right at the front of the stage and seems to be staring at their guitarist; if Chasny's impressed than you know it's good.

It's insane to think that people will pay over a hundred quid to stand half a mile away from The Rolling Stones in a huge arena somewhere when they could come and see something like Rangda at the Brudenell for free (the gig was changed to a free gig after some football got re-scheduled). The band are ridiculously tight; three musicians who just seem to instinctively gel together. Chasny's psych-rock guitar perfectly complementing Bishop's eastern flourishes with Corsano holding it together with his jazz-influenced stick skills.

They mainly play tracks from the new LP and there isn't a weak moment. 'The Vault' sounds particularly awesome; controlled chaos leading into a stunning Chasny solo. 'Bull Lore' from 2010 debut LP False Flag sounds as monumental as ever, with Corsano's heavy drum rolls and Bishop's precision lead-guitar weaving into awe-inspiring crescendos. Other pieces such as the brilliant 'Majnun' showcase Bishop's unique style and sound, as mysterious and exciting as anything in the Sun City Girls cannon. Rangda's sound is accomplished, creative, playful and nigh-on essential; you need to see this band.

Comments (2)

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I live nowhere near the Brudenell but I've noticed the amount of gigs they put on. I don't think there's another small venue as good as this. Maybe there's too many venues in the likes of Manchester so the gigs are spread out?

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I always end up going to the Brude, seem to always get great gigs and it's a great pub too..........

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