London Social

Pitch right into these strange and lovely sounds, and you never know what you'll find.

Every so often, you read about an OAP found dead among a towering maze of newspapers, keeping the junk along with the treasure, and, it turns out, a million pounds in cash behind the sofa. That’s not to suggest that Pete Astor is unsanitary, let alone decrepit – in fact, he’s looking extremely good on his diet of skimmed electronica and low-fat whirring – but watching The Wisdom Of Harry is to spy on a spiritual hoarder, a man sifting through psychic murk, panning for gloom. If he strikes that muted “Eureka!” as often as tonight, he might yet make his fortune.

Going for literal darkness as well as metaphorical, the stage is lit by a screen showing a Werner Herzog film. Only occasionally does Astor – accompanied by marginally more euphoric, air-punching accomplice Chris Summers – loom up to the microphone, giving the Undeath-In-Vegas pulsings a just-about-human touch. The nervy shuffle of ‘Coney Island Of Your Mind’ is ‘Loaded’ for the bedroom-bound; free to do what they want to do as long as it involves some heavy paranoia. The exotic percussive undertow of ‘Woke Up Buzzing’, meanwhile, hints at a deluxe range of thrilling Freudian nightmares.

Making sense of debris is The Wisdom Of Harry‘s precarious genius, and if the loops and angles of tracks like ‘March Of The Otaku’ initially appear little more than abstract shatter-patterns, they soon solidify. Pitch right into these strange and lovely sounds, and you never know what you’ll find. It might just be priceless.