As I make the trip to Manchester tonight to finally see Clinic perform, it occurs to me that the Liverpool band of electro-psyche obscurists have always been on the periphery of my musical ‘default setting’.

What I mean is, I listen to quite a lot of music that falls under that broad description of psyche/garage/post punk noise, but aside from the Visitations album, I’ve never listened to much of their other recorded output. I’m not entirely sure why, but it’s not because they have been so far under the radar (they’ve appeared on Letterman ffs) and have had their music used to advertise breakfast cereal. Anyway I’m hoping that tonight’s show will put them squarely in the middle of my playlist.

They’ve been around a good while, Clinic, since the late 90’s as ‘Clinic’ at least, and the band have a notoriety for using vintage keyboards and other electronica to perform on and record with in the studio.

I got talking to a guy who had come over from Sheffield for tonight’s show, we got talking about Sheffield’s seminal electronica/ experimental legacy, bands like Caberet Voltaire and Clock DVA and Warp Records, so I could see why Clinic would be a must- see for him too.

There are a couple of other fine bands in support tonight, Salford’s finest, Naked (On Drugs) and Black Lung. I missed Black Lung unfortunately, but Naked (On Drugs) where not going to let the opportunity of supporting Clinic pass them by and they gave the full room a dose of sax infused Gang Of Four funk.

Clinic appear dressed in their customary surgical masks and smocks and play a set with plenty of tracks from Visitations and the more recent album Free Reign. Clinic are heavier, more intense live than in the studio, there’s off kilter time signatures and seriously twisted funk bass lines. Tusk is a pummelling stomp which reminds me of contemporaries Thee Oh Sees or San Diego residents Crocodiles.

Letterman fave, Walking With Thee uses that ace vintage organ sound coupled with Ade Blackburn’s urgent vocal to create a blissed out surrealist dreamscape.

Clinic are unique, unaffected by distractions of current trends and high profile tours with Radiohead and The Arcade Fire, they singularly explore their own vision of garage sale analogue psychedelia and post punk funk. If You Could read My Mind reminds me of the Black Angels Passover album, a repetitive guitar hook and acid fried vocal adding to the swirling organ to create darkly compelling soundtrack .

On my way out I see my new friend from Sheffield, I asked him how he would sum up that gig in five words “Worth.Coming.From. Sheffield. For”. Fair enough.

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Hello Robbo here, DJ at T.R.A.S.H Your Life at the Dog and Partridge in Bolton, and occasionally at Retro Bar in Manchester. Garage, punk, 60s, kitsch, library tunes, all the good stuff.. Labels: InTheRed, Goner, Swami, Sympathy, Estrus, AMREP, Domino, Touch & Go, Dischord, Rough Trade. Shops: Beatin Rhythmn, Vinyl Exchange, Fopp, Charity, Vintage.