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Since landing the coveted Mercury Prize in 2007 with their masterful debut ‘Myths of the Near Future’, Klaxons recorded output has been conspicuous by its absence.  But now, the band has finally birthed ten new tracks which they’ve given the collective name ‘Surfing the Void’ If there’s one thing that Klaxons have a talent for, it’s the ability is to seamlessly assemble a musical hybrid that’s half rock, half dance, and, more often than not, completely out of its mind.  It’s often hard to know if what Klaxons create is by design or complete accident, but whichever it is the results are often both uncharacterisable and sublime. However the real test of their new material is to see how it performs in a live setting, which is what brings the band to a cold and blustery Academy 1 in Manchester.

Tonight’s solitary support slot is occupied by London quartet, Fiction. Recently in Manchester as the guests of Warpaint at the Deaf Institute, they play music that’s all angles and tangents and full of quirks and odd time changes. I enjoyed their music more tonight than when I saw them with Warpaint, though I personally think they didn’t look as uncomfortable on the far bigger Academy stage. The better sound system of the give the component parts of their songs more space to breathe and I look forward to hearing their new single ‘Big Things’ when it’s released at the end of November.  

Klaxons appear to have spent a bit of money creating a stage set to compliment their music.  It mainly comprises of four tubular steel arches off which hang a multitude of LCD spotlight.  During the show these light flash wildly to give the appearance that the band is playing more in disco than a concert hall. It’s a novel approach and one that fits the bands image perfectly. After a brief recorded intro, the band breeze onto the stage at nine o’clock, and the party gets into swing with a full-blooded version of ‘Flashover’ from the new LP.

The main focal point are keyboard player James Righton and bassest Jamie Reynolds who share the lead vocals, the rest of the band staying mainly in the shadows.  Though the material played tonight is split evenly between the bands two LPs the crowd goes crazy when the band spark hit single ‘Golden Skans’ into life, pushing up the excitement levels dangerously high and melting the crowd into a seething mass of flailing limbs and smiling faces with sweaty bodies surfing overhead with alarming regularity.  With the band in full stride each track they play is received ecstatically by the predominantly teenage crowd and one can only succumbed to the energy of the bands music. New single ‘Echoes’ brings the set to a conclusion. The band comes back with a brilliantly accomplished ‘It’s Not Over Yet’, followed by two more stompers which bring evening’s entertainment to a close. 

Manchester has waited three years to hear the Klaxons come and play some new material, on this showing; it’s been worth the wait. 

The Same Space
As Above, So Below
Gravity’s Rainbow
Valley Of The Calm Trees
Golden Skans
Twin Flames          
Two Receivers


Its Not Over Yet
Surfing The Void
Atlantis To Interzone
Review & photos by Phil King