Drawing on material from her most recent album ELETÉ, Holy Fuck support act Lucía Tacchetti starts tentatively at this Cardiff gig – as though taking the temperature of the room – before gradually heating things up. As the banger frequency increases, so too does the impact made by her smart, well-constructed electronic pop – think a Latin American Chvrches. When it comes to the greatest Argentinian exports, she faces some seriously stiff competition (Lionel Messi, Malbec), but there’s enough here to suggest that she at least merits a mention.
Tacchetti is back again before the night in Cardiff is out, contributing vocals to Lost Cool, her slinky collaboration with the headliners – a !!!-esque sexy analogue/digital cyborg of a single. For fourth LP Deleter, Holy Fuck followed the path trodden by Battles on Gloss Drop in inviting others to lend their voices to the project. Sadly, unlike Tacchetti, Alexis Taylor of Hot Chip and Liars’ Angus Andrew aren’t waiting in the wings to make an appearance on opening duo Luxe and Deleters, and it takes Super Inuit from 2007’s LP to really spark the night into life.
From about 2008-2012, Holy Fuck could have staked a legitimate claim to being the best live band in the world. Their onstage dynamic was perfect – Brian Borcherdt and Graham Walsh facing each other, hunched over their synths orchestrating electro chaos, while bassist Matt “Punchy” McQuaid and drummer Matt Schulz formed the tightest, most telepathic punk-funk rhythm section imaginable – and the resulting party-starters made energetic movement and ear-to-ear smiles mandatory.
Times have changed, but there are still flashes of that incandescent brilliance tonight: on the eternally anthemic Lovely Allen, which once upon a time seemed to be the soundtrack to every wildlife documentary and TV trailer going; on Red Lights, whose 70s car-chase bassline simply could not be bettered; and on concluding song Caught Up, the tense, explosive final track on 2016’s Congrats.
“This is fun”, grins Borcherdt. “This is what we’ve been missing the whole time.” Them and us both.
Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff, Thurs 28 Apr
words BEN WOOLHEAD
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