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Grumbling Fur, Tim Burgess – Corsica Studios, London- 12th of August

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Tim Burgess stands on stage, reflecting, randomly generating poetic-style musings, thoughts scribbled on a sketch pad, to an atmospheric backing provided by The Charlatans guitarist Mark Collins. He encourages dreams and a sense of otherworldliness, flowing freely as he searches deep within his being. His mop hairdo turned from rich black brown to blond as he inhabits a space infinitely more experimental and wigged-out than The Charlatans.

Burgess is here to support his new-found mates and recent collaborators, Manchester-based duo Grumbling Fur, as they present their new, fourth album ‘Preternaturals’ to an expectant Corsica Studios. After a few interval tunes from The Quietus DJs, tucked away in one corner, they come to life beyond the onstage scaffolding. Opening tune ‘Protogenesis’ starts and the crowd immediately steps into a groove, vivid flowers pulsating on the backscreen projection with equally vivid pastel sensations to match them emanating from the speakers.

This is a sound so natural and earthy, yet completely futuristic and space-age. On one hand electronic beats and digital sonics pulsate effortlessly. On the other, the folk-driven sounds of violin and double bass add a layer of organic authenticity. At times it’s reminiscent of vintage 80s synth giants like Depeche Mode or even Tears for Fears – singer Daniel O’Sullivan’s voice certainly resembles Roland Orzabai’s on occasion – but at others the kaleidoscopic psychedelics of XTC and assorted flavours from the 70s and 90s come into play as well.

A fractured universe of distorted moments and harmony combine perfectly as we reach ‘Dancing Light’, instantly echoing Stone Roses classic ‘Made of Stone’ as the lyrics, filled with hope and gleefulness, implore us “never to tread on the dancing light.” ‘All the Rays’ sets alight a clicking, metronomic beat, a collage of colours filtered and whirling above it like a mini tornado. Tim Burgess returns to the stage for ‘Lightinsisters’, his vocals soaring with more unanimity than his poetry, and we’re reminded of Tim’s firmly embedded place in British pop music culture.

Finishing on the album’s closing track ‘Pluriforms’ – our notebook says “digital rhythms, water, beats, whale calls, jungle nights, fevers” and even that verbal smorgasbord doesn’t do its lyrical nature true justice – this most peculiar of space age space craft finally exits the building. Daniel O’Sullivan and Alexander Tucker create a unique feeling, the sensation that we’re dancing, jumping over the traveling light, as if in orbit many miles from this planet and all its mundane worries. Riddled with wonderful contradictions and capable of creating a truly cosmic escapism, there’s precious little to grumble about here.

God is in the TV is an online music and culture fanzine founded in Cardiff by the editor Bill Cummings in 2003. GIITTV Bill has developed the site with the aid of a team of sub-editors and writers from across Britain, covering a wide range of music from unsigned and independent artists to major releases.