Ahead of the release of their third record Love Frequency, self-proclaimed nu rave pioneers Klaxons came to Falmouth’s Princess Pavilion last week – their second Cornish appearance since they topped the bill at Boardmasters in 2011. It was one of four intimate UK gigs – in purposefully smaller locations with capped audience numbers – that stirred excitement in anticipation of both their new material and their return to the festival scene this summer.
Although the show had failed to sell-out, neither the band nor the crowd lost their enthusiasm. In conversation with audience members, some were Klaxon fans who were looking forward to a comeback, some were new to the band, and others were more concerned with celeb-spotting the renowned comedian and friend of the band, Harry Enfield.
The London-based four-piece were on full form, appreciative, charismatic and energetic. They came armed with staple metallic attire and a set list that showcased their indie, electronic brilliance, old and new. In accordance with the band’s own outlook on the record, the new material promises a more refined and controlled sound, and collaboration with the likes of The Chemical Brothers and Gorgon City in the production of the album makes it a worthy competitor in a chart currently dominated by the revival of house.
Reminding the crowd of the band’s beginnings in 2007, ‘Atlantis to Interzone’ kick-started proceedings with a guitar-heavy start that set the bar high for the night’s energy levels. Other oldies such as ‘Gravity’s Rainbow’, ‘Golden Skans’ and ‘Magick’, which stirred the biggest mosh of the night, were snuck in among the more polished, new tracks, that illustrated the band’s maturity and development.
Although each album seems to have narrated a transition in their music, the Klaxons have continuously remained true to the psychedelic, electronic roots of nu rave. The new material seemed to show a reigning in of their previously criticised experimental tendencies and made tracks such as ‘Show Me a Miracle’ and ‘Invisible Forces’ hand-raising and accessible for the audience, despite their unfamiliarity.
Pre-encore, the pop-synth infused indie rock track, ‘Rhythm of Life’, demonstrated how the dual vocal line of Jamie Reynolds and James Righton seems to have taken a rather melodic turn for the better, and no longer wholly consists of what was previously often harmonised shouting. It had all the workings of a sure-fire crowd pleaser, and communicated perfectly the firm establishment of genre that is to be expected from the new record. Post-applause, an encore of ‘A New Reality’ and ‘It’s Not Over Yet’ ended the night on a high – albeit a fairly sweaty one -with the chorus being sung back to the band by just under 400 people, who all left assured that this comeback will not be short-lived.
With the new material having been well-received, this summer’s festival scene welcomes these guys back with open arms. It was unfortunate that numbers weren’t a little higher, but at the same time to see such a high profile act in an intimate setting is always a privilege. These modest performances, small enough for the band to personally return a lost shoe to a crowd surfer, seem to have been less of a comeback and more of a reminder of how the Klaxons still stand as a fine example of a tight live band with a passion for innovation.