I went to see Battles a couple of weeks back. I already wrote about it the first time I saw them, so I won’t go on and on about it. Full reviews of the gig by Last.fm users are here and here.
In my view, this performance was even better than the one at Glasgow. It does feel a little bit like ‘Atlas’ overshadows the rest of the gig though! ‘Leyendecker’ was also quite an impressive performance.
There seemed to be a few technical issues. For some reason Ian Williams seemed to have problems with the looping, or the volume of his guitar or something. Show opener ‘Race: Out’ was ruined at first. The three guitarists quickly alternate turns playing twice a bar, but Ian Williams was too busy fixing his problem, leaving a big gap.
The impressive thing, though, was the way the band as a whole coped with the problem. Realising the performance was a dud, they just seamlessly started again near the beginning. I guess with all that technology involved, they must be pretty used to that sort of thing and they just took it in their stride. Many people probably did not even realise there was a problem (though they might have thought it was a bit long!).
Anyway, the point of this post is that Battles played at the Electric Proms last week. Tickets sold out before Battles were even added to the bill. The headliners? Editors. A slight mismatch perhaps. The wayward experimentalism of Battles was probably a bit of a shock to the system for the poor souls!
The full performance is available to watch on the BBC website until the 4th of November. There is a taste of what I saw when Battles were faced with a problem. Dave Konopka had problems with the start of ‘Tij’. Not to worry — quick-thinking drummer John Stainer just improvised a bit. Nobody will notice!