The Invisible’s latest record, Patience, was a warm and stirring ode to catharsis; the kind of music you hear in your head when you realise breakfast is ready and when you look in the mirror, realising your eyes pop with the gleam of fulfilling rest.
Needless to say, The Invisible’s latest offerings, plus a few oldies, come to life with a different kind of zest on stage. Confined within the small, intimate live room atop veteran Bristol live venue, the Louisiana, there was no escape from the outpour of textural, intricate future-funk. The Invisible may just be one of, if not the definitive tightest live band in the UK.
What comes across almost instantly is the drums; Leo Taylor literally never leaves the pocket, and throws in polyrhythms and fills that, while linear, sound as if they could stray from the beat. Extreme howls and whoops are heard as he comes back in on the beat, perfectly. Every. Damn. Time.
The Invisible likely have one of the most dangerous drummers in the game today, and the live experience of these grooves could quite possibly rival, if not overturn the experience of hearing them on record. Save You, Monster’s Ball and Memories exploded with new life as the warm, dry mix of live drums against the multi-layered, near carbon-copied reverence to the record psych of the melodic elements gave the music a huge punch.
Drums aside, however, frontman Dave Okumu and bass/synth player Tom Herbert deserve a great deal of respect for the magic they pull on stage. Okumu opts for a table setup for his pedal board and consistently shifts the tone of his gently growling guitar sound with multi-layered effects at opportune, well-rehearsed moments and effortlessly shreds while his voice remains unwavering in its soulfulness. Herbert deftly switches between bass and synthesiser when needed, adjusting his gear with subtle adjustments and a wry grin, remaining a stoic conduit of groove and texture throughout.
Tracks like Different, Believe In Yourself, K Town Sunset, Life’s Dancers and the ever ebullient London Girl all seemingly required dalliance in so many variations of instrumentation. Life’s Dancers and London Girl especially stood out, extended into long, house-influenced jams, launching the crowd into fits of two stepping, scrunched faces and uncontrollable nodding heads with a dusting of awe as they watch Okumu and Herbert reproduce the textures and melodies of The Invisibles music with unwavering faith and ability.
There is much to be said for watching The Invisible live, but really, the main thing is that watching them live is watching the hardest working band in the UK today. This not only extends to their song craft, but also the attention and care they take in reproducing their sound on stage, the sheer skill with which they do so and how palpable their passion for it is.
The music comes to life with a whole new vigour on stage, and the intimacy of the venue, plus a strong mix throughout, encapsulated the beauty, humanity and oft-intensity of The Invisible’s craft with a directness and drive that the records simply can’t capture. A definite must see.
This Invisible article was written by Lawottim Anywar, a GIGsoup contributor. Photo credit : manis_ss