Live Review: INSOMNICHORD @ The Louisiana

Downstairs in the main bar of The Louisiana, I sit down for a chat with Insomnichord. The five piece band have just played a brilliant set on the iconic venue’s upstairs stage.

I ask how the band would describe their sound, bassist Mischa Dhar tells me how the group started as a psych band but then decided they didn’t actually sound that psychedelic. “It’s more like prog rock” he says, “or maybe somewhere in between”.

“Progadelic” suggests drummer Zak de la Bedoyere.

“I just think ‘Delicious’” says Matt Ballone, the group's lead guitarist, “we’re moving forward into a new genre”.

All those words fit, the band provide a heavily effected, groove lead sound, fronted by singer and synth man Rollo Ellison. There’s no predictable song structures, the songs seem to just do what they want, when they want, as do the band members sometimes - we were gifted to a 5 minute drum solo about halfway through the set.

Ellison tells me how the band came to be: “I had a bunch of songs before I came to university and then went on the hard graft to find players”. Zak and Rollo knew each other from primary school, randomly ended up at Bristol together and got reacquainted. “I met our synth player through LiveSoc who then introduced me to Matt” continues Ellison.

“We [Zak and Mischa] used to be in a funk band together which is how I got introduced to these guys” explains Dhar. “I’d never touched psychedelic rock before playing with these guys, but I’d played a lot of jazz and a lot of funk”.

The group have only released one song to date entitled ‘Oh Henry, Oh Man’, which is perhaps the greatest song ever written about a vacuum cleaner. “We had the song with some other words, but then one day, as I was vacuuming up some vomit in Badock with a Henry hoover, I thought ‘give him a break, give him a song’”. There’s even a hoover in the song at the end if you listen closely.

There are more songs on the way though. “We’ve recorded 10 songs in Wales, the plan is to release a triple album but we might release an EP first in January”. The band worked with Bruno Ellingham who has worked with the likes of New Order, Moby and fellow Bristolians Massive Attack.

You can find the Oh Henry, Oh Man here and details of the band’s upcoming gigs on their Facebook

Daniel Brashaw