[a]Salako[/a], a bunch of sonic philanthropists to whom over-achievement is, goddammit, the enemy of progress...

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Glasgow Barrowlands

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Glasgow Barrowlands

It’s the failed experiments that yield the most thrilling results. The abandoned concepts and nearly-but-not-quite visions that deliver so much more than any calculated success could. And so it is with [a]Salako[/a], a bunch of sonic philanthropists to whom over-achievement is, goddammit, the enemy of progress.

With their two albums to date, the Hull-based foursome have assembled an alternative reality entirely free from current musical dictum. It’s a place where [a]Stereolab[/a]’s pristine physique is traded for shamelessly wobblesome curves, and [a]Syd Barrett[/a]’s idiot glee is injected into both Gorky‘s-esque whimsy and Crayola-coloured, Beta Band flirtations. And it’s their willingness to royally bugger things up that makes the [a]Salako[/a] experience so entertaining.

That’s why ‘Second Age’ – on record a ludicrously groovy psychedelic breakfast – is tonight transformed into a clanging roll call of random, lunatic sound effects. So we get, variously, a giant having lunch, a dolphin dying and an old man in an allotment. It’s mad. It’s bad. Yet, remarkably, it rocks. As does ‘Green Is The Colour Of Evil’ – a Beach Boys-stroked charmer that, when accompanied by the sight of four men gently gyrating in fluorescent anoraks, becomes a thing of indescribable beauty. [a]Salako[/a]’s destination may be unknown, but, like all the best journeys, it’s the trip itself that’s the real fun.