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The CLUAS Archive: 1998 - 2011

Check out reviews of other concerts in 1999

Liquid Hifi

Isaac Butt, 7 Dec '99

First gigs? I thought they were supposed to be ramshackle affairs in some grotty kip with the guitar player's granny booing every number and two drunks in the corner ignoring the band.

Liquid Hi FiNot for Liquid Hifi. They play like professionals, the venue is full, the sound is clean, the visuals magic, and - remarkable considering the amount of delicate looking equipment on stage - there isn't one technical hitch. They've even got a video and 'track of the week' on No Disco without having moved outside their bedroom.

I repeat, I have never seen a first gig like this. And I used to drink a lot of cider.

I suppose a band like Liquid Hifi doesn't need to play live that much, and when they do it's a very different experience to seeing your traditional line-up. Two heads bob slightly behind a computer screen, one smokes a fag, the other asks for a pint, someone pushes a fader on a desk and the music just squirts like toothpaste.

Have you noticed how there isn't much dance music reviewed on Cluas? And have you noticed how some dance outfits appeal to the indie posse? The Chemical Brothers and Daft Punk being prime examples, Death in Vegas on the way. Liquid Hifi have that appeal, their most savage break is a Beatles sample, and distorted guitars feature heavily where dance purists would prefer that acid squelch.

But, the band are not really about savagery. They excel in mellow melody, breathy lyrics, sampled by Sinead because she's not ready to sing live yet. They work like a soundtrack to a movie, big orchestrated pieces that Hollywood probably pays millions for. Close your eyes for a second and Arnold is giving Jamie Lee one in the back of a helicopter while Bruce Willis hangs on underneath with a red digital clock ticking off the seconds. Or maybe its Harvey Keitel jumping Christina Ricci, in period costume while Johnny Depp looks through a knothole in the log cabin.

What I'm trying to say is Liquid Hifi could make serious money.

Their video was remixed nicely for the live version of the track 4am and the film work was an essential part of the set. At the moment, the visuals go like this - InsectBloodHitlerNuclearExplosionDancingGirlsSpaceBart-

Liquid Hifi - I guarantee you will hear of them. How could a commercial version of The Orb go wrong?

Jack Murphy