Unsound moves for its two final nights to Queen’s Theatre on Playhouse Lane. Town Hall works for Thursday but I wouldn’t want to spend my weekend sidling by the brass bosom of Queen Adelaide in its brightly lit foyer every time a ciggie break was due.
Queen’s Theatre is not royal at all. Every wall, bench, curtain and cranny is black and even when the screens pulse with light you can find a corner to get dark in. It’s sold out but there is still plenty of roaming room. The bar is separate so the boozing chatterers can only irritate each other. And up the back, for the weary, are tiered benches with excellent sightlines and on those benches is foam to cushion the weight of their weary arses.
Best of all? The sound is great for every act and, really, that can’t be easy. I meet last year’s Unsound soundie who talks about sound like it’s a sentient over-watered lawn trying to avoid a Saturday morning whipper-snippering. “Bass builds up in the corners. You need to clean it up and keep it neat, tidy and evenly spread.”
The corners, then, cop a flogging when Emptyset play a set that elicits Stockholm Syndrome-style worship by a crowd that is clearly ready to be held captive to something brutally, destructively danceable. The pummelling of bass tickles my nostrils and itches my ears but is so expertly wielded by the Bristol duo that I feel quite safe in their machine gun-blast of mayhem.
Part of a broader Unsound Festival review for The Quietus, here.