Tonight is a special night. It’s ten years since Sheffield post-rockers 65daysofstatic released their debut album The Fall of Math, and tonight they are playing it in full in the magnificently moody surroundings of Manchester Cathedral. It couldn’t be more perfect for them, the grandeur of the venue matching the scope and intensity of this quite astonishing performance, it’s the ideal marriage of venue and band. Joe Sherwsbury notes in one of the breaks between songs that ‘this is a big fucking church’, and indeed it is, the ginormous ceilings reflecting the ginormous sound coming from the band. The sound. Wow. It really is something in here, the set up tonight is one built for power, and throughout the entire gig the base reverberates through my body, shaking my insides in a wonderful way; this is not merely music to hear, but music to feel. During the pummelling ‘Retreat! Retreat!’ the entire building feels like it could crumble under the weight and ferocity of the music, and combined the brilliant light show flashing and swirling around the age old walls of the cathedral it only adds to the sense that this is the last show on earth, a show for the apocalypse. This isn’t just music you hear and feel, tonight it is music that you see too.

The most impressive moment of The Fall Of Math comes in the extended coda to ‘This Cat Is A Landmine, which was just a pure sensory overload. The band are making the most unholy racket on stage, each member lost in their own private moment, thrashing away at their instruments like their life depended on it; meanwhile, the lights are going mental, strobes strobing, searchlights searching, it’s quite the spectacle, one that I can only relate to the infamous ‘Holocaust’ section at the end of many My Bloody Valentine gigs, music as a wall of noise and light that you can only close your eyes and get lost in. This makes a stark contrast to the quieter moments like ‘The Last Home Recording’, the stage lit up beautifully as the band come down momentarily before launching into a new assault. The Fall of Math isn’t my favourite 65dos album, but tonight they roll back the years and add to the sound of their debut with 10 years more experience, and it makes for a wonderful show. When they come to the end of the final song ‘Aren’t We All Running?’, much to my surprise they announce that there will be a short break before ‘we show you what we’ve done for the last 10 years’. Amazing, they’re going to do another gig!

When they return to the stage they play for nearly an hour longer, and most of the songs are from their last (and to me, best) album Wild Light. And lo and behold, it’s absolutely incredible. Running through foreboding ‘Heat Death Infinity Splitter’, it’s clear how far the band have come over the last ten years; everything is more measured, there’s not a massive rush to get to the ‘loud bit’, and the music is much more sophisticated. ‘Prisms’ turns this holiest of venues into an industrial night club in Berlin, all stabbing electronics and throbbing bass: I swear at one point I’m more bass than human. ‘Unmake The Wild Light’s towering guitar lines ascend skywards as if trying to escape the confines of the church, and ‘Taipei’ calms everything down a bit, it’s swaths of synths bathing the audience in warm noise. They finish with the couldn’t-be-more-M83 ‘Safe Passage’, and leave us with the cry of ‘here’s to the lasy 10 years, but fuck the last 10 years! Here’s to the next 10! Fight the fascists!’.

Naturally the crowd don’t let them get away with that, and they come back on for a couple more songs, finishing on fan favourite ‘Radio Protector’, a perfect end to a pretty perfect night. This is genuinely one of the best things I’ve seen all year, it’s been absolutely outstanding and I’m sad it’s over, but so glad I bore witness to the ferocious spectacle. Here’s to the next 10 years of 65dos.

65daysofstatic  Official |Facebook | TwitterSoundcloud