Acid Mothers Temple - Brudenell Social Club Leeds, UK - Gigs - Reviews - Soundblab

Acid Mothers Temple - Brudenell Social Club Leeds, UK

by Andy Brown Rating:10 Release Date:2012-03-18

With a fluctuating line-up, various variations on their name and an impressively sprawling back-catalogue, Acid Mothers Temple has remained at the forefront of modern psychedelia for nearly 20 years. Tonight they’re playing under their classic moniker, Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O.

The daunting task of opening for Japan's finest falls to Leeds/Bradford supergroup, Nope. Dual drummers Jon Nash and Steven Nuttall are centre-stage, very much the driving force behind the band's particularly thunderous take on psychedelic Krautrock. Their set starts with ambient washes of noises, lightly struck cymbals and a gently picked-out melody from lead guitarist Andy Abbott.

You’re jolted out of the disarming haze when both drummers kick in. Abbott switches between tightly played riffs and cosmically inclined solos, a switch made easier by his double-necked guitar. Rhythm guitarist Patrick Dowson keeps the band's electrified pulse, the whole band clicking together with a near-telepathic synergy. Heavy, hypnotic and propulsive, Nope are nigh-on unstoppable tonight.

It perhaps shouldn’t matter but Acid Mothers Temple look really, really cool: Gnarled Japanese psych-rock veterans, carrying a calm confidence that comes from years of experience. Higashi Hiroshi stands in the middle, long grey hair and beard making him every bit the psychedelic star. Lead guitarist and founding member Kawabata Makoto stands to the right, huge hair and wildly improvised guitar style still intact.

The set starts with a flurry of noise before the five-piece launch into their unique take on a classic-rock riff. The performance takes many twists and turns, earth-shaking rumbles of noise, blissful Floyd-esque detours and wild freak-outs aplenty.

The band really hit their stride about halfway in. You can almost hear the sound of jaws hitting the floor as they crash through another endless crescendo of acid-flecked insanity. Their improvised waves of sound blossom into heavy, trance-inducing grooves. Perhaps understandably, the few people dancing seem to think they’re back at Woodstock in ’69.

A highpoint comes with the epic and mesmerising ‘Pink Lady Lemonade’, its drifting, dream-like melody giving way to one of Makoto’s most thrilling, hair-raising solos. Bassist Tsuyama Atsushi’s foray into flute playing also works a treat. It really is an experience to watch the band play; a brain-melting, transcendental trip of the highest order. The set ends in glorious chaos, Makoto swinging his guitar around, while continuing to pull untamed noise from the frets.

Sure Acid Mothers Temple can be a challenging listen, but live, free from distractions, you’re wholly submerged in their world. It’s a head-spinning, face-melting, beautiful expression of pure psychedelic wonderment. It’s something you really have to experience for yourself. 

Comments (3)

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I downloaded a load of their albums yesterday.

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I've got a couple of their albums, pretty insane stuff! So much of their stuff to listen to as well. Ace band!

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Nope's second album, 'Walker' is well worth a listen too!

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