Stylus, Leeds University Union // Monday, October 22, 2018
Sunday was a pretty crappy day for me. I was confined to my bed with crippling anxiety for the most part. But just 24 hours later, I’m in a bouncing mass of people at Leeds University’s Stylus venue, smiling and having a blast.
That’s the ups and downs of depression, I suppose, but I’d chalk the change in mood up to international superstars SUPERORGANISM and their joyous prescription of glitchy power-pop.
This is their third time in Leeds. Their first, they say, was one of their worst. The second was here at Stylus in the summer for Live at Leeds and having caught only the first few songs before we had to move on, it was one of our best – an attack to the senses like smothering Grandma kisses.
Arriving on stage tonight shrouded in sparkling cowls and capes, presenting glowing orbs and chiming triangles, the band looked like futuristic monks; cultists worshiping an 8-bit digital deity.
Bursting into life with their signature tune SPRORGNSM, the three backing singers twist and contort themselves round the warped samples and jittery synths as Orono Noguchi nonchalantly struts her stuff front and centre, giving the polished psychedelic performance an angsty punk edge.
Miraculously playing every song from their criminally underrated debut album – which lasts a sneeze over 30 minutes – Superorganism stretch their set out over 50-odd minutes.
They break from the tunes to swim around the stage as whales glide across the full-stage projection, drink beer from an audience member’s shoe, and take an impromptu Q&A session – they are as giddily mischievous as their music.
Singalongs Everybody Wants To Be Famous and Night Time show the packed audience are in good voice, as they revel in every twitchy beat and willingly chant back to Noguchi as she holds her mic out to the bouncing crowd, swigging from a can of Magners.
It’s this bizarrely triumphant contradiction of twee art-pop and zero-fucks attitude that make Superorganism a sheer delight to see live – a technicolour rush of synthetic serotonin that gives rise to all the feels.
“Something for your M.I.N.D…” as their breakout tune and tonight’s set-closer reminds me.