I went to see the seminal Seefeel last night at the fantastic new King's Place arts centre in King's Cross, a towering edifice of glass and steel with a vast atrium inside, an art gallery and two concert halls. The band have just released their eponymous fourth album, which is their first in almost fifteen years. They were famously the first band with guitars to be signed by cult electronica label Warp, and are essentially a live outfit with a rock setup, though the music undergoes digital processing in real time. The band now features a new rhythm section in the shape of bassist Shigeru Ishihara (aka DJ Scotch Egg) and former Boredoms drummer Iida Kazuhisa.
Seefeel's music, especially their recent work and especially their live show, can best be described as a cross between shoegaze, doom metal, dub, hip-hop and glitch. Sarah Peacock's looped, wordless vocals bear the unmistakeable influence of the Cocteau Twins' Liz Fraser; and while the pummelling sheets and shards of guitar feedback, the massive, shuddering bass and high-intensity, watertight drumming are almost overwhelming, they leave room for the all-important ethereal melodies.
The set was almost ridiculously short (fractionally over an hour), with no support bar an anonymous DJ, and no encore. But I didn't feel particularly short-changed, as I don't know if I could have managed much more at that punishing volume. I went up to the stage at the end with the other gear geeks and got a peek at the band's equipment as well - a baffling mountain of effects pedals, laptops and drum machines. Seefeel are an institution and no-one else sounds like them. Do yourself a favour and check out their albums for Warp, Succour and the new one. And if you're able to catch them live on their forthcoming tour, don't miss it - it's an awesome experience.