become [I]very[/I] serious onstage. Opening with the tense, brooding ‘Broadcast’ – a B-side oddly reminiscent of arch Glaswegian miserabilists Arab Strap – they hypnotise the sizeable crowd into an awestruck silence, before jolting us to life with the swaggering ‘Start Again’. It’s this track which sets out [a]Soulfly[/a]’s sonic stall: equally influenced by Scouse psych-poppers The Boo Radleys and mobile ‘phone salesmen[a]Dandy Warhols[/a], it
builds momentum carried through ‘There’s Silence’’s killer pop hook. But it’s ‘Why Do You Try So Hard To Hate Me’ that really amazes tonight. An undisputed highlight of ‘Holes In The Wall’, tonight it’s spiky with menace and some lung-shredding vocals from Alex White.
It’s a difficult track to follow and [a]Soulfly[/a] opt for the most perverse course of action imaginable, with Tom emerging from behind his drumkit to lead the band into an eerie cover of[a]Kylie Minogue[/a]
’s ‘Can’t Get You Out Of My Head’. Halfway through the track mutates into Muse-esque rock opera: Tourcoing’s assembled indie kids are rightly baffled.
Having steered things back on course with the wry, delicate ‘Red Balloon For Me’, Tom swaps back with Alex, and the gig enters a brief lull. ‘Something’s Got To Give’ drifts aimlessly by, while ‘Stay Where You Are’ – mooted as a future single – likewise fails to catch fire. But thankfully this proves to be the calm before the storm.
Over the course of a full 20 minutes, ‘Silent To The Dark’ is re-worked into a corruscating Krautrock epic: when the song finally stutters to a halt, Tourcoing’s response, naturally, is devotional. A triumphal encore of new single ‘Empty At The End’ confirms the simple truth: [a]Soulfly[/a]are phat.