“Oh god, this will probably end up on reddit” remarked Orono Noguchi, the front woman of Superorganism. This was in response to a fan’s shouted question about her sexuality and in a way sums up Superorganism; a modern indie pop band for the internet age.
The eight piece group that overflow with vibrancy brought a bucket load of quirky ideas to their live show at SWX. From the start it was clear that everyone was in for an hour of sensory overload. The first thing to attack you was the expertly choreographed visuals created by Robert Strange (real name Blair Everson) which added to the stories being told via the music. This was an excellent use of the extra creativity offered to a band when playing live; it is no surprise Robert Strange actually doesn’t play an instrument instead focusing totally on the visuals. They melded internet oddities, bright colours and psychedelic patterns whilst being totally coordinated with the music of the band. It was a breath of fresh air from other live performances where the visuals seem like an afterthought, contracted out to an external company. The craziness of the visuals also meshed with the multicoloured, sequined capes the band entered the stage wearing, leaving the audience in no doubt that they are watching a thoroughly modern band willing to be different.
Difference is what makes Noguchi stand out. The rest of the band are extremely expressive like a kid with a sugar rush yet her nonchalant demeanour never cracks. She has an unexpected charisma demonstrated by her marshalling of the crowd for a planned Q and A half way through the set. Once her band-mates reappeared her half sung half rapped lyrics contrasted stylishly with the sonic bombardment from the rest of the band. This fusillade of noise that Superorganism produced is composed of all kinds of interesting parts. The three backing singers punched through the thick bass sythns and a solitary guitar added embellishment buts it’s the one off noises that made the performance unique. Vocal snippets, objects crashing into each other and underwater effects were all utilised in ways that were integral to the overall sound. No other band at the moment creates such sweet sounding pop music out of seemingly random noises which is a testament to Superorganism’s willingness to do things differently.
In fact the difference started with the support act Chai, a female four piece from Japan. Chai were also interested in pushing things forward by challenging Japanese stereotypes about cuteness which made them a perfect warm up act. So as I decompressed on my way home I reflected on the vision brought by Superorganism. A colourful vision of eccentricity, hope, social critique and fun brought to the masses via a well thought through show that fully utilised every facet of playing live. If this is what the Internet can produce then maybe Facebook isn’t so bad!