Confusing and loud. This is all you can be certain of when trying to categorise The Monsoon Bassoon. After that it’s purely a matter of conjecture. Is it psychedelia? Folk? Art-core? A complete mess?
Centre stage there’s Sarah Measures – who looks and sings like a ’69-vintage star child. She also plays the clarinet and flute. A bit twee you think, at which point her sylvan idyll is bulldozed by the sound of guitarists Daniel Chudley and Kavus Torabi attempting to raze the venue to the ground by sheer volume alone.
Sometimes Chudley and Torabi, looking like missing Bad Seeds, sing songs too. Sometimes all of the above happens at the same time and you give up trying to label all this and let your eardrums get on with the business of bleeding.
But is it any good? Well, if strangeness alone were a measure of greatness, the Bassoons would be musical titans. Mostly, though, it just sounds like the band are performing according to random cue card commands – QUIET! LOUD! WEIRD! CLARINET! – at an increasingly frantic rate.
True, it keeps you on your toes, and occasionally it’s genuinely thrilling (‘In The Iceman’s Back Garden’), but the only thing that really stays in your head about tonight is tinnitus.