Sunday, 5 February 2012

Section 25 & As Able As Kane (AAAK) @ Gulliver's, Saturday 28th January 2012

When two fast flowing rivers meet, an area of turbulence is created as the waters interact and mix. A similar type of confluence is taking place at Gulliver's, only with two separate, distinct crowds getting swept up in the mix. Downstairs a woman is celebrating her 30th birthday with a set of friends whose age appears to be around the 30 year watermark. None of them would be old enough to have seen Section 25 in their first incarnation, unlike the group of more ‘mature’ people upstairs who perhaps, proudly, would like to say they did.

As Able As Kane precede them and set upon the task of removing the mortar from between the brickwork with their slamming beats. Initially lining up as a four-piece, for the third number a female singer emerges from the crowd and is just about able to fit into the small space left alongside the male vocalist. The contribution to the higher end of the frequency mix provides a touch of subtlety to the pounding.

Carefully thought out and organised to match the emotions of the songs, a set of visual images cast the band in shadows. Images of buildings being blown up are overlaid with selected lyrics whilst a few individuals are literally bouncing up and down to the beats, broadly grinning from ear to ear as they let the momentum wrap itself around them.

A name that is often referenced but seldom at the fore front of the Factory Records tale is Section 25, yet when you hear them you understand why the association fits so well. They even have music out on the Ha├žienda record label. After the ill fortune that the band have suffered it’s surprising that they have survived this long, but it’s a tribute to their love of music and ability to find a way to record music as and when it suits them. Vocalist Bethany Cassidy briefly refers to her “mum and dad,” but the reason she is onstage is that Jennifer (her mother), Larry (her dad) and a founding member of this group, died at far too early an age; not via any self inflicted situation. Yet interest in their warm fusion of steady rhythms, guitars and samples has proved enduring enough to generate a mini tour of Europe.

For the first two numbers, ‘Beating Heart’ and ‘Garage Land’, Beth struggles to be heard as the mic lead cuts in and out in a Norman Collier-like manner. With a new cable in place she’s happy, her uncle Vinny on drums is happy and so is the crowd as the lush melodies flow out. It may be more of a Balearic beat than the Blackpool (or Poulton-le-Fylde) sands but it’s still flowing soundly.

Words & Photographs: Ged Camera

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