Asobi Seksu – ABC2

Asobi Seksu had become somewhat of a white whale for me in terms of catching them live. Firstly their gig at King Tuts in October last year was cancelled at the last minute, then to my delight they were announced in the initial line-up of bands for Connect festival this year only to then later vanish inexplicably. I think they decided to play in Brazil the day before instead and I suppose you can’t really blame them. Scorching Brazilian sun, bikinis and thongs would win out over grey Scottish sky every time in most people’s eyes. So it’s a year and a bit later and thanks to a support slot for “Ladytron” on their UK tour I was finally going to get the chance to see Asobi play.

The stage was set up perfectly to get you into the Christmas spirit with blue shimmering stars on the stacks of amps and yellow twinkling lights draped over Yuki’s keyboard. The first thing you notice about Yuki when you see her is what a petite figure she has and it seems impossible that such a strong distinctive voice could come from such a small frame. Tonight it almost didn’t as when she tried to introduce the band to the crowd she was at first met with a deadly silence but thankfully after a minute or so a little “one, two” could be heard floating out into the ABC. Before playing a note James asked for the lights on the stage to be “turned down a little bit” requesting just “blue or red lights please”. You get the feeling that creating the right atmosphere and mood for their music to be delivered to an audience is either immensely important to the band or else they just hate getting hot and sweaty on stage.

Their seven-song set opened with “Familiar Light” the second track and future single from their gorgeous sounding new album “Hush” which is slated for release in March 2009. Yuki’s voice spun and swirled around talk of “let downs and comedowns and put-downs” before bursting into a high pitched wail surrounded by pounding rolling drums and a veil of feedback.
I’m glad that my “Asobi Seksu” cherry has been popped so to speak, and more importantly that it was worth the wait, no prom night disappointments here, even if it was only a short support set I’m sure they’ll be back soon and last a lot longer next time.

Familiar Light
New Years
Lions & Tigers
Me & Mary
Red Sea

Ross Cunningham

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