Sheffield Foundry

The sitar-powered missives can often sound like a dozen variants on the [B]Chemicals[/B]' [B]'Private Psychedelic Reel'[/B], or the moment when [B]The Beatles[/B] met [B]Ravi Shankar[/B] perpetuall

Sheffield Foundry

As every self-respecting rapper would put it, here comes the next level. Oh, and as rather fewer of them would add, it appears to have come dressed as Screaming Lord Sutch...



With [a]Fatboy Slim[/a] ensconced in pop heaven, Bentley Rhythm Ace a loony institution among festival folk and Lo-Fidelity Allstars, well, battling bravely in the face of adversity, this is where Skint hope to display there's life after the first wave, putting a pair of new hopes on the road. So, over to the mad Lord and his dizzy aides...



...Space Raiders, in other words, for whom the perennial problem presenting dance music live appears to have been weighing heavily on their minds. Hence the frankly reckless decision for chief deck masher Martin Jenkins to appear with big hair and an even bigger top hat, plus, for added effect, a latex superhero suit with the motif 'M' emblazoned across the front. Jenkins will draw a rabbit from his hat before the show's over, toy laser guns will be messed with and rictus grins shot at the crowd.



But to start with, their costumes and music are seemingly the product of different planets. A magically pastoral affair, set opener 'Laidback' bears closer links to Ultramarine and St Etienne than Bentleys-esque japery. However, soon the ambient cool is usurped by deeply surging house music that's far more chic than its creators. Close your eyes and at this point you could almost be entwined in Daft Punk's amorous grooves.



Still, no point getting stuck in a rut, Space Raiders figure, and come the end their sound and look have become the same star-spangled explosion of outright peculiarity. As its title is not shy to point out, 'Glam Raid' could almost be The Sweet, with guitars replaced by techno-phunk paraphernalia. This time, you don't need to close your eyes to imagine the comedic scene.



Headlining their own show casts Indian Ropeman in a new light. They're free to open up and, just as importantly, turn everything up. So whereas previous gigs had them sounding like a circuitous psychedelic jam taking place in a musty shed, now they're beginning to cultivate some rapport with the audience, affixing booster packs to their rhythms and turbo power to their eminently stout basslines. That said, their sitar-powered missives can often sound like a dozen variants on the Chemicals' 'Private Psychedelic Reel', or the moment when The Beatles met Ravi Shankar perpetually remixed into various chunky but fairly monochrome forms. The fiercely undulating frequencies of '66 Metres' demonstrate they have the power. All they need now is the panache to go with it. And some colossal hats, luminous wigs and custard pie-toting clowns. Arguably.

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