I first came across Superorganism after hearing ‘Everybody Wants To Famous’ on BBC Radio 6 Music’s Radcliffe and Maconie a couple of months back. I thought it was great – very hip and very catchy, like something by CSS or Passion Pit around the turn of the decade. So I was excited when I was invited to watch them live at Gorilla in Manchester at the beginning of the March, shortly after the release of their self-titled debut album.
Superorganism are an octet predominantly based in London, but the band is comprised of members from across the globe. Their sound is not quite like anything I’ve ever heard before, very synth-heavy but frankly also a little bit ‘out there’, arguably on occasions a little too much so. I expected their live performance to be similarly wacky and was not disappointed.
Firstly, the venue. Gorilla has become somewhat of a stalwart of the Manchester music scene. The venue was a great size for the gig with plenty of room for dancing, a small seating area for those wanting to use it, and an easily accessible bar with a great selection of beers compared to the run-of-the-mill-Carling’s often on offer at gig venues. Pi Ja Ma provided support. I only caught the end of their set, but would describe the French duo as ‘charming’. They treated us to a cover of Frank Sinatra’s “When I Was Seventeen” and provided witty commentary throughout their show. Definitely one to keep an eye out for in the future.
Then came the main event. Superorganism graced the stage in colour co-ordinated raincoats (somewhat reminiscent of a pastel version of kids’ TV show The Wiggles). The setlist comprised mostly of songs from their recent album. As someone with limited experience of the album, having mostly heard their singles on the radio, the gig still felt pretty accessible and was an overall enjoyable experience. One of the standout songs for me was “Night Time”, but the highlight was the closing performance of debut single “Something For Your M.I.N.D”.
The show wasn’t just about the music though. Projected graphics featured heavily throughout, those these tended to be a little hit and miss. Over a number of the singles, the music videos were incorporated into the show, which was very clever, but on other occasions they became quite distracting. Some of their videos come with disclaimers due to the use of strobe lights, which also featured heavily throughout the show, and again could be quite distracting. In addition to this, three of the band members stood at the front dancing, which again I thought was very good (somewhat reminiscent of a Motown performance), but again could be quite distracting. My only other slight complaint would be that some of the songs can be a little bit silly at times. Whilst often the message of the song is made quite clear lyrically, with pieces such as “The Prawn Song”, sadly the same cannot be said. Overall the show was extremely enjoyable, and I would recommend giving Superorganism a listen or getting yourself down to another of their gigs; my friend who I took with me had never even heard the band until the hour before the gig but described it as “the weirdest gig” they had attended in a while but also loved it. Testament indeed.
Superorganism, the debut album from Superorganism, is out now via Domino Records.