dälek – Holy Scum – Centrala Birmingham – 11th June 2022
dälek have been described as ‘absurdly loud 808s, speech elevated to the centre of a vocal performance or samples that are mangled and obscured beyond any possible recognition of their original source material.’ Sounds perfect for Fighting Boredom. Add to this Holy Scum, ‘ a ten-car pile-up’ and this feels like a good evening to come. Fighting Boredom’s Martin Ward and guest writer Graham Tilley headed to Brum, see what they thought below.
I’d seen Gnod in the same space a few weeks earlier, so I was looking forward to experiencing this
side project featuring the bands rhythm section along with guitarist Peter J Taylor and Däleks Mike
Manteca, it was never going to be an easy ride. As the audience shuffled from the evening
sunshine of the canal side into the dark art space it started all quite tamely, Manteca opening with
a little unthreatening electronica. And then the drums kicked in. Like the uncorking of a bottle, it
unleashed the storm that Holy Scum created.
Metaca growling vocals over heavy electronic noise to of the pounding drums (Jon Perry is a
machine!), the bass rumbled and grooved, and you had the almost comedic but intimidating
performance of the guitarist venturing into around the audience on a small, wheeled platform and
holding stare-offs with his victims in the audience whilst continuing to contribute to the eruption
For part 2 of the Mike Manteca show we moved on to his day job, co-noise maker for Dälek.
Through the first few tracks the band were having monitor problems so were somewhat distracted
by arguing with the sound guy, it created an unwanted tension to the performance. Following a
short break to add a couple of monitor speakers the show continued, and gradually they settled
into it, directing their anger back into the performance, Dälek got to work with their ever
darkening sound, that was at times brutal and at others trance like and hypnotic in its flow.
To these ears, an evening of beautiful intensity.
All pictures by Martin Ward all words by Graham Tilley.