For anyone fresh to the Blanck Mass live experience and unsure of what to expect from tonight’s performance, one thing should be blatantly clear from the signage placed throughout the CCA: “TONIGHT’S GIG WILL BE EXTREMELY LOUD – EARPLUGS ARE AVAILABLE ON THE DOOR”
If there isn’t a weight of expectation from the crowd tonight there is at least a high degree of anticipation, as many of the sold out audience have arrived early, in time to witness Iona Fortune‘s suite of spacious instrumental tunes; a free-flowing theme of oriental gongs and chimes paired with heavy bass synth and electronic sounds.
Many people choose to sit on the floor in darkness as these noises cascade, the individual pieces punctuated by projections onto a screen above the stage.
As soon as the set is finishes however it is apparent that there will be only standing room for the main event and patrons are asked to move forward to allow more people inside; the room is filled almost instantly.
Blanck Mass aka Benjamin Power arrives to deliver songs from his latest release, World Eater, and suddenly the prediction of the signage rings true.
Bass pulsates through the faces of the crowd as they bounce and thrash about, possessed by the buzz and the beat.
The driving energy of ‘The Rat’ is all consuming as bodies rock and sway despite the confinement.
Aggressive and urgent and euphoric in equal measure, the music mesmerises in waves; at times tumbling and crashing heavily with an effected vocal line that may or may not be decipherable, and may or may not need to be, while in other moments the flow eases ever so slightly to allow smooth sailing and transition into the next sonic adventure.
As commander on this journey Power is never settled, constantly tweaking his instruments and propelling his audience through swells and turns with some force.
It’s beautiful to watch them go with him so willingly and he is rewarded with ecstatic applause at every opportunity.
Sadly, with the short set time and relatively lengthy songs this night is over in a flash; an exercise in quality over quantity, though there has certainly been a volume of music transmitted here too, and the audience present as if they’ve had their money’s worth.
The earplugs remain in place all the way out onto Sauchiehall St, just in case.
Words/Photos: Kendall Wilson