January 30th | Old England
Photos: Luke Macpherson
1% of One are a Bristol events promoter. Over the last three years company owner Richard Walsh has been hosting a series of gigs in interesting venues throughout Bristol, played by some of the best underground artists from around the world. This event, at The Old England, was organised to honour the three-year tenure of 1%’s work in the city. Billed with a secret line-up, 3% of One felt like a miniature festival, and was a brilliant celebration of Richard Walsh’s hard work and impeccable taste.
First to the stage were Agata. Their music was a swooning mixture of singer-songwriter tendencies and more upbeat popular styles. Driven largely by a strong rhythm section and accented by electronic instruments, Agata covered ground from MØ-like tropical pop to more subtle vocalist-driven ambient ballads. The vocals were the set’s defining feature, giving a performance that varied between haunting and comforting throughout.
Next were Canadian garage-pop group, Kiwi Jr., hot from the release of their debut album Football Money in the UK. Simple but effective, and with their melodies consistently hummable, Kiwi Jr. belted out their upbeat and sunny mix of The Beach Boys via early 2000s New York rock. With thumping instruments, guitar that went from garage bluntness to blissfully pristine, the band showed their mastery of the genre with a set full of summer playlist fodder.
Headliner, Lazarus Kane finished the show, turning the gig into a frenzied party. Running onto stage to ‘Welcome To The Jungle’ played through the soundsystem, the band proceeded to create a layer of pysch drones, before thumping drums, plastic cow bells and scratchy funk guitars went into an infectious setlist that riled the crowd into a dancing stupor.
The music throughout had a consistent groove driving the songs, constantly building to a cacophony of funk and psych in a truly unique blend. They harked back to the best moments of LCD Soundsystem (one song even had a few “ahhhhhhoooooo!”s), but took themselves less seriously, covered more stylistic points, and had pop moments that sounded unashamedly fun. Their performance was restless, teetering into madness at moments, only to pull back and deliver some portent, focused subtly. Quieter moments shimmered with a tangible beauty, rare as they were in the shifting quicksand of Lazarus Kane’s funk odysseys.
The showmanship and technical talent was astonishing too. Keyboards and synths punctuated moments of the music, often driving whatever already-buried groove deeper under the skin. Wailing guitars and guttural bass made a blanket of sounds which the compositions swirled around. The lead vocals sounded deep and distant largely, before breaking out of the ether in yelps and howls, often further complimented by the more urgent and focused female vocal work.
Lazarus Kane left the stage with a buzz in the air, adding a flourish to an already great evening. The fact the crowd seemed to love every act on this varied bill, and the gig was sold out without a single band being announced, speaks to the influence of 1% on the local scene, and Walsh’s talent for surprising but satisfying the audiences he’s earned.
See Lazarus Kane play live for The Stolen Sessions here: