|Factory Acts at Surya, London; photo by Val Phoenix|
Anyway, this rare live music venture was to see the London debut of electronic duo Factory Acts from Way Up North (or Salford, as the kids call it) at a venue new to me, Surya. I've heard a few of their songs (they were featured on one of my podcasts last year, along with an interview with keyboardist/vocalist Susan O'Shea), but was keen to check out how they sound in a live arena.
It was a short but satisfying set, running only six numbers, but seemed quite full, actually. With only two people on-stage, multi-tasking Susan and bassist Matt, one might think the sound would be thin or the presentation lacking, but they created quite a racket and were also backed up by some arty visuals flickering on the screen at the back of the stage.
Matt's bass was very reminiscent of early '80s post-punk, and Susan handled the complex keyboard set-up with aplomb (I especially liked her elaborate hand flourishes while triggering some kind of effect) while also delivering a Siouxsie-esque wail that rendered the speakers redundant.
The final song, "Americans With Guns", featured snippets of NRA nutjob Charlton Heston in all his pomp. That gave me a chuckle.
So far, their recorded output is limited to a few singles, but they are hoping to rectify that soon.