Asobi Seksu
@ Leeds Cockpit

Some taped noise blends into constructed waves of coruscating sound. The drummer wields big padded sticks. An oriental woman adds Japanese colours of unintelligible palettes to the mix. The extreme noise is making my trousers shake.

Both immobile in sound and violently vibrating; a thing of ascending and floating beauty yet, in detail, magnified, horrific in shape. This is not the semi-gentle mock Jap-pop of the current album more My Bloody Valentine meet the Cocteau Twins in Shinjuku Park

Round bass sounds roll up and down but the sound system is struggling with the volume and things get a bit distorted for the art that Asobi Seksu aim at. (Later, the vocalist can be seen, incandescent, berating the sound man for breaking her voice up). Then the sound breaks down altogether and has to be patched back in. Her voice lacks the sweetness it has on disc. Its not a big issue, just different and the sound construction is still a thing of wonder, just much bigger and cruder. The sound, at least, beats the fabled My Bloody Valentine and their weird production, having a bass you can really feel. Its a cathedral of sound with an guitar over-amplified and treated, light strings feeding into maximum sustain settings.

The set is very dark with only faces visible, light coming only from below and the side, adding to the arty feel and the audience, largely immobile, soak it up. I feel like an oddity for tapping my feet, shaking my head and wobbling slightly at least I put on my fancy shoes to gaze at..

By the end the sound is monstrously loud, a sea of distorted sound with drum accompaniment. As they leave the stage the floor is still vibrating and before the waves of sound from the tortured instruments has died away, they are back for a speedy run through of The Ramones Merry Xmas (I Dont Want To Fight Tonight) an amuse-bouche after the main course. Weve had a fabulously arty and pretentious evening of remarkable soundshapes. The cool audience of slightly older than average serious-listening fans seems happy and we traipse into the Leeds winter night, sated.

Ross McGibbon