I remember really getting into math and post rock in 2008 which was when Leeds outfit Vessels released their debut album. It was a perfect marriage of the two sub-genres and naturally I thought it was ace. Fast forward a few years and I went to see the quintet at a festival, not really knowing much beyond that record. What I saw was something far removed from the expansive yet twiddly guitar tones I was aware of. Instead, they’d gone down the electronica route, switching guitars for synthesizers. There is still a post-rock element about their sound in regards to how widescreen it can get, but techno and electro runs through these boys’ veins these days.

The band have just this week released their fourth album The Great Distraction, the second in their current transformation, and they are currently touring the UK in support of it. I’m at the Soup Kitchen tonight and it’s definitely a Thursday night vibe. The room fills up nicely and everyone is glugging beer and getting into the dark, post-rock tinged techno beats of support Guy Andrews, already tapping into weekend mode.

I’m a big fan of this new Vessels record. It’s got all of the swirling, hypnotic melodies and glitchy beats of its predecessor but manages to go deeper down the rabbit hole of fist pumping EDM as well offering some perfect electro pop moments. So needless to say, I am extremely up for tonight’s show!

I’d heard a few things about the light show that Vessels have in store for us tonight and it totally lives up to its expectations! As the set progresses, more lights that I didn’t even know were there start flashing around the stage, always in sync with the main beat or melody line. There’s so much to see: there are five people on stage, all armed with synths, samplers, drum pads and little bits of percussion and they all lock into these tight, pulsating grooves that make the limbs of each crowd member move uncontrollably.

It’s great to hear both sides of the new album come out and sound really huge live, whether it’s the rhythmically driven techno rave of ‘Mobilise’ or the sky scrapping electro-psych of ‘Reflect The Light’. On record they sound big but live it’s a whole other entity of hugeness!. The way they build up this gigantic wall of noise to let it crash down with throbbing bass and cutting drum beats is just utterly europhic. Every time we’re treated to a drop, the room just erupts in joy. I’m not a fan of clubbing these days, but if clubs were more like this, I’d go every fucking day!

I’m also a fan of patter and with Vessels being an instrumental band, I wasn’t sure if we’re gonna be getting the comedic styling of keys player Paul, who starts the set by asking the crowd a question on plug sockets in order to settle a van debate. He finishes the set by thanking the crowd for coming along, “because if you weren’t here we’d just be a bunch of bellends faffing about on a stage with a load of flashing lights”. My friend next to me tells me that she’d like to here more for Paul. I agree! Funny dude. Basically, Vessels come across as charming chaps as well as an incredible live act – a hard thing to do. With a live set this electrifying, it’s all a matter of time before we finally start to see our boys fill up the bigger spaces that this show and these songs so urgently demand.

Vessels: Official | Facebook | Twitter

Benjamin Forrester

I joined the Silent Radio family near the very start of my move to Manchester in 2012 and I'm still having the best time! During my stay here I've been in two noisy bands, had a not so noisy solo project, made a zine, started a blog and started a radio show. It's been productive to say the least and it's all been intersperse with a shit load of gig going and beer drinking. I would love it if you followed me on twitter @dr_brainless for excitable tweets about playing, watching and living new music.