The 'post-rock' tag so often bestowed on bands like these gives an unfair impression. Images of shoegazing experimental guitar opuses (opi?) and cerebral knob-twiddling were put firmly to rest by both bands on the night, demonstrating that post-rock never deserted the excitement and noise of its rock 'n' roll predecessors.

As a rather dingy ska-punk hangout the Underworld seemed an unlikely choice for the gig, but the music on offer soon rivaled the regulars both for hard-edged intensity and sheer entertainment value.

First up were Aerogramme, signings to Glasgow's renowned Chemikal Underground label. Masters of the quiet/loud song format they combined beautiful lo-fi vocal interludes with frequent barrages of rhythmic post-hardcore energy. As a tight three-piece they used backing tapes to add the post-rock layers of their recorded material. Their set seemed a schizophrenic battle between quiet lo-fi songcraft and the adrenaline rush of math-rock guitar noise, both done with great success.

Fly Pan am themselves are one of many post-rock bands to emerge from Montreal. They share a guitarist with fellow Constellation signings Godspeed You Black Emperor !, although they approach Godspeed's instrumental crescendoes from an altogether diffrerent angle. Gone are the melancholic echoes of minor-key guitar and strings - instead funky bass lines, chiming hypnotic grooves and lively drum patterns take their place. Ultimately the effect is just as powerful when they reach their climax of white noise, combining the jazzier post-rock sounds of Tortoise with the intensity of Mogwai. After exhausting their rehearsed material they played an improvised encore, with great basslines and drumming holding down increasingly experimental and noisy guitar work. They had us dancing like crazy at the front, which is more than can be said for most bands who play their guitars sitting down. Altogether a highly entertaining evening.











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