I could hardly believe it when I saw this announced earlier this year. I know they’ve played before, many years ago, but it seemed to me that 65Daysofstatic weren’t playing many live shows this year, I presume to work on something new, and it seemed a bit unusual that they’d have a sole date in Colchester. That said, it seems like the Arts Centre is filled with lots of new faces, and speaking to people before their set it’s apparent that people have traveled from Kent and even further afield to catch their set and people are sharing stories about their gigs in the past, as well as commenting on the aesthetic of their surroundings.
65daysofstatic have never shied away from really mixing up their setlists, showcasing stuff across their near sixteen years of existence. Case in point; opening with Asimov, a track from the No Man’s Sky soundtrack. I haven’t really listened to this record that much, but will have to after hearing it live – it sounded massive live, an epic track that filled the church. While the game they soundtracked may have been met with negative acclaim there’s no way anyone could have been judging it on the soundtrack! Retreat! Retreat! followed a couple of tracks later and the response was a little bit eerie, the audience being incredibly respectful to the point where it was almost haunting. Usually you expect people to be quiet during the quiet bits (and they were, for the most part) but I’ve become accustomed to crowds roaring as the song starts to end, whereas tonight people seemed to wait until the very last note had rung before their applause. Not a complaint, by any means – I’ve seen the band a good dozen or so times before and this is one of the best sounding shows of theirs I’ve had the pleasure of watching, just an observation.
The setlist plays out slightly heavier on tracks from Wild Light, their most recent non-soundtrack LP and tracks like Sleepwalk City give them a real chance to show off the electronic nature of the band, while the stunning piano part bring a tear to the eye. There are very few bands who can mix genres to this extent and still create such an emotional soundscape, a unique clash of ideas that somehow cause the hairs on the back of your neck to rise. Radio Protector is a welcome inclusion in the set, one of their finest songs from their discography and one that conjures up a slight sense of nostalgia, but I think the thing I enjoyed most is how great some of the newer work I’ve not given as much time to is, that they’re not a band destined to be a nostalgic band, they’re a band who keep pushing boundaries and innovating, more than most bands would dare.