Peak Performance – Wozniak live


Wozniak / Our Smallest Adventures / Gigantic Leaves – Opium, Edinburgh – 28th June 2014

I’ve had loads to do today so I’ve only had time for a brief report on last night’s Wozniak E.P. launch.

It was my first time at Opium but I was impressed with it as a space for seeing bands. Good sound, good sight lines and a decent sized stage make it an excellent micro venue.

Wozniak were the obvious attraction but it turned out to be a varied and enjoyable bill.

First off the headliners, though. It’s remarkable how far they’ve come since their first gig just a year ago with a single and the brilliant new E.P. ‘Pikes Peak’. But until they get round to releasing an album the way to experience Wozniak at their best is unquestionably  in the flesh.

First off all you are confronted by the sheer physicality of their live sound. Wozniak can be quite epic and, just as often, pummeling.

Most importantly the live sets display the breadth of their repertoire not all of which has made it to record yet. At their most accessible there’s ‘Ground Echo’ which is at heart a dance number with its perky guitar lead and shiny electronics. At the other end of the scale there’s the brooding magnificence of ‘El Maresme’ and the hard riffing of the penultimate number.

Wozniak pretty much cover every point in between but neatly avoid both simple categorisation and the problem that some instrumental bands have in differentiating between the tunes. Woznziak’s tunes not only all have their own characters but are also pretty much all great even if a special mention has to go the explosive ‘Kreuzberg’, the lynchpin of this particular set.

This was the third time I’ve seen them live and it was undoubtedly the best. Wozniak are without doubt a cracking live proposition.

Our Smallest Adventures

Our Smallest Adventures hail from Fife and deal in epic post rock very much in the vein of Godspeed. It’s the first time that I’ve seen them but I enjoyed their four song set a lot. A six piece, there’s a lot going on with cello, violin, two guitars and the occasional keyboard. The only disappointment was that, at times, the cello and second guitar got a little lost in the mix but I’d certainly like to see them again.

Gigantic Leaves
Gigantic Leaves

The show had been opened by Gigantic Leaves who rocked like it was 1993. They certainly weren’t a bad way to spend half an hour but the vocals seemed to be mixed ridiculously low and that did make it harder to distinguish between the tunes.