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London Highbury Upstairs At The Garage

Amazingly, it's so caustic, grim and awful that it veers into comedy; [a]Black Box Recorder[/a] have been to hell and come back laughing...

London Highbury Upstairs At The Garage

If you stare into the abyss long enough, you might eventually be able to discern a friendly face. Be warned, though; it's an optical illusion and you have gone berserk. The upside of that is that you might be ready to welcome [a]Black Box Recorder[/a] into your heart.



Dour power is upon us and [a]Black Box Recorder[/a], this increasingly time-consuming side-project of errant Auteur Luke Haines, are the current masters of the language of bile and boredom. What's more, if you thought that with last year's magnificent 'England Made Me' album they might have run out of subjects to be eloquently disdainful about, tonight proves otherwise.



As singer Sarah Nixey stares expressionlessly into the audience and gently introduces us to 'The Art Of Driving' like a recently exhumed Nico, it becomes clear that Haines and co-writer John Moore have not struck a vein of inimitably Anglican ennui, but an artery. It's an almost insufferably quiet, claustrophobic sound, but as 'May Queen', 'Weekend' and the superbly titled 'English Motorway System' show, it's pop music.



Amazingly, it's so caustic, grim and awful that it veers into comedy; [a]Black Box Recorder[/a] have been to hell and come back laughing. As Nixey intones on 'Child Psychology', [I]"Life is unfair/Kill yourself or get over it"[/I]; happily, it looks like [a]Black Box Recorder[/a] are far too smart to do either.

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