The Computers | The Hospital Club | 10 August 2016
You don’t need a physics degree to know that releasing lots of energy in a confined space can cause an explosion. And when tireless five-piece The Computers are let loose in a function room, that’s exactly what happens. Figuratively of course.
During an hour-long set, hyperactive singer and natural entertainer Al Kershaw repeatedly disappears into the crowd and pulls people onto the already overcrowded stage. At one point, he even leaps on one of those round bar tables, using it as a podium to incite audience participation. The masses oblige – testament to his talent as a frontman, and the good vibes created by the band’s “garage-soul punk ‘n’ roll” songs.
Powerful, but not aggressive, the songs performed tonight showcase not just the finest moments of their upcoming album ‘Birth/Death’ but also its predecessors, ‘This Is The Computers’ and ‘Love Triangles, Hate Squares’. It’s one of the new tunes, the blast of soul ‘This Ain’t Right’, that ignites the fuse before the angular retro-rock of another, ‘Weighed Down’, takes this rocket stratospheric.
And the energy just keeps building. The high-octane garage stomp of ‘Mr Saturday Night’ is the first to delve into the back catalogue – and fully showcase the backing vocals of guitarist James Mattock, bassist Tom McMahon, and guitarist/keyboard player Fred Ansell. They come to the fore again on the groove-laden ‘Love Triangles, Hate Squares’, before the celebratory ‘NYE’, which punctuates euphoria with quieter moments of self-reflection, shows off the depth of the latest material.
So too does ‘God Only Knows’. Anchored by Aidan Sinclair’s powerful drumming and Kershaw’s heart wrenching vocals, the soaring anthem not only lowers the intensity but further lifts the mood. Feelgood boogie woogie blitz ‘Call On You!’ continues the trend until the biggest of the newcomers, ‘Crucifixed On You’, ups the bad boy swagger and beautifully melodic ‘Birth/Death’ album closer ‘Bad Wolf’ emphasises The Computers’ tranquil, sensitive side.
The ballsy ‘Music Is Dead’ provokes that table leap and mass hysteria from the fans, before the mellow singalong ‘C.R.U.E.L.’ brings the rocket back to earth. Figuratively of course.
- ‘Birth/Death’ is released on 30 September 2016. See The Computers at The Borderline on 5 October.