Originally published for The Skinny.
If live music is to be an experience, then S U R V I V E pull off exactly that at Glasgow’s Art School. Without a microphone in sight, it quickly becomes apparent that there will be no crowd interaction from the band tonight. Instead they focus on the music, taking us on a loud and cosmic journey through their synth and bass back catalogue.
Playing tracks from their most recent album RR7349, the music takes on a whole new life live; mainly because of the stunning light show that accompanies it. Seamlessly syncing with the music, lights alter between shades of blue and purple, fading into darkness and then abruptly flashing on cue: at times unsettling, but for the most part entirely fitting.
In the live setting, the tracks don’t feel as dark and eerie as they do on record. There are even moments where the music sounds euphoric and, quite frankly, danceable. Think more hands in the air, finger pointing than nonchalant head bobbing.
The band’s back to basics approach to performing live, where crowd and inter-band interaction is scarce, may not exactly be everyone’s cup of tea. However, their ability to put on a captivating live show which relies solely on their compositions is a true testament to their musicianship and shows that sometimes, music really can speak for itself.