London King’s Cross Scala


It's great to see a concept come to fruition without thinking of mid-'70s [a]Genesis[/a]...

A vision as grandiose as [a]Lisp[/a]’s should be laughed out of town. After all, it takes a certain amount of self-belief, arrogance and naivety to have a string quartet and an electronics expert to prop up a basic, meat’n’potatoes rock group. But the sounds floating around these high ceilings tonight are so glacial, heavenly and magisterial, any misgivings quickly evaporate.

It’s the old story of Essex bovver boys creating a music that seems beyond their reach. [a]Lisp[/a] debunk stereotypes in the way singer Jonnie Gordon makes a new kind of sense by slowly going crazy while all around him make like an orchestra. Everyday concerns about love and trains, heard this way, attain a gravitas you wouldn’t expect.

The backroom electronics svengali, Paul Willmott, doesn’t even grace the stage, preferring to screw around with the sonics in the shadows. Perhaps his time with underrated London melancholics, Disco Inferno, has given him an aversion to the limelight…

Whatever the reason, it’s great to see a concept come to fruition without thinking of mid-’70s Genesis. ‘Flatspin’ says it all: sadness, yearning and minor-key rumblings fighting for supremacy with a jagged riff. There’s mileage to be made by Lisp – as long as they resist the temptation to simplify themselves for the masses.