EMF Bring The Beauty And The Chaos To The Garage

Unbelievable as it is, EMF are back on tour in 2024 to promote the legendary 90s band’s latest album The Beauty And The Chaos, which dropped on Friday 19th January on EMF Records and produced with Ralph Jezzard at the controls once more.

EMF @ The Garage

EMF @ The Garage
EMF @ The Garage

I arrived at an icy cold The Garage in time to catch the tail end of Funke And The Two Tone Baby’s opening set, he is a one man band who, like Tash Sultana, builds his tracks with loops and triggers onstage, developing a sonic wall for Stop The Music that had a mix of Hip Hop and electronic dance music with a slight blues edge and a massive groove that grabbed my attention immediately.

He closed his set with Not Enough Bonobo, a quite amazingly bonkers song that was built around three or four loops, mad vocals with a brilliant call and response part where he got almost everyone in The Garage to shout “too much chimpanzee” on demand, as he really had won over anyone who arrived early enough to see him.

  • 53481946551 c9bb5e7d95 o
  • 53481946531 a416d89078 o
  • 53482356930 31c7c2b9fb o
  • 53481946551 a7d7dbbaf2 n
  • 53481946531 4ef4dccb79 n
  • 53482356930 4a36316cf6 n

Next on were the Manchester based duo The Dirt who are Sachiko Wakizaka on guitars, loops and effects, and little Jack Horner on vocals. They opened their set in a hail of looped guitar figures, as Jack gave us the band’s own Two Page Manifesto, letting us know just how disgusted they are with the state of the world. Power Junkies was full of anger and bile for the megalomaniacs seeking to rule the world, as Jack bounced around the stage ferociously making his point.

Sachiko’s shoegaze style loops built carefully on DBL as Horner started to remind me of actor Stephen Walters’ character in The 51st State, although with very different political views.

Jack introduced himself as being Leon the pig farmer before Rant Two exploded with invective at the awful state of everything. Crying Out Loud had some very intense guitar loops as Sachiko built an ever-bigger wall of noise that allowed Horner to explain how much they buy into being totally multi-cultural. Voting Booth made clear how much they want rid of the Tories, no matter how bad the alternative may be, the Tories must go. This led into The Dirt’s climactic Outro that closed a great support set.

  • 53482250549 dcab679058 o
  • 53481945426 fef1b5c4b9 o
  • 53481945446 ba10bd2103 o
  • 53482355745 13b9959194 o
  • 53482250549 1054054747 n
  • 53481945426 e9f9c81f04 n
  • 53481945446 f6d0ca42a0 n
  • 53482355745 997cd77d88 n

EMF, who I first saw playing at The Garage back in the early 90’s when I went hoping to hear the band’s version of Search & Destroy, were led on stage by drummer Aid Todd and bassman Stevey Marsh who has taken over from the late great Zac Foley. The rhythm section started their launch into Children from Schubert Dip as the rest of the band came on and exploded with energy, James Atkins pulling at his woolly hat with a trademark cheeky grin on his face.

Long Summer Days has some great spiky guitar from Ian Dench who was rocking his Sesame Street jumper, as the first blast of electronic madness was added by Derry Brownson who was triggering all sorts of stuff from his bank of keyboards and gadgets. Lies kept the early hits coming as James looked ecstatic that they were still here and playing for us.

After James had yelled Ecstasy Mother Fuckers a couple of times he told us all that the next song was off the new album, The Beauty And The Chaos as Read The Room let rip at someone with a somewhat nasty personality, the music remained upbeat and happy as everyone danced along with them.

They went back to Stigma for Getting Through, that seemed totally driven by Aid and Derry’s antics as Ian’s guitar got crunchier. They then pumped out a supurb rendition of Sister Sandinista, the only song tfrom last year’s Go Go Sapiens aired tonight, the tune good and bouncy. James then said hello to the bands travelling Mexican fan club as he dedicated new song The Day The Music Died to them,Ian hitting all sorts of effects on his guitar to add to the madness onstage.

Inside was about as reflective as they got, even if James couldn’t help but throw in a few more Ecstasy Mother Fuckers just in case anyone still believed they really were the Epsom Mad Funkers. They brought their tribute to the rave gods Reach For The Lasers to life, as they all jumped around with James singing his list of rave greats from Richie Hawtin to Lisa Loud and on to the king of it all Andrew Wetherall.

They’re Here had some totally outer space alien guitar from The Dench who had been grinning from ear to ear all set. Current single Hello People went down a storm, and as James sang “it’s time to meet you”, it seemed totally heartfelt. As this song quickly worms its way into your head, we all liked EMF as much as they liked us. They stayed with the new album for Stardust as they headed for the stratosphere once more with a brilliant rave rock anthem.

James really didn’t need to introduce Unbelievable as The Garage erupted and everyone joined in with lots of fun had with the audience singing the chorus before the band etc. as the things you say are still to this day Unbelievable, as Derry kept hitting the button that triggered the Unbelievable sample regularly for the rest of the set.

How do you follow your biggest hit, well with a cover of another immense classic as their version of the Robert Wyatt/Monkees classic I’m A Believer that they totally make there own, in a hail of rave rock dynamite that was brilliant fun. Before they closed the set with I Believe that made crystal clear how much Ecstasy they loved to consume while loving partying and having fun with us all.

It didn’t take too much to bring them back for a much-deserved encore that opened with a brilliant re-working of Depeche Mode’s Just Can’t Get Enough that broke down and included the second or third lot of band intros for the evening, but no one cared, we were all having too much fun with the Ecstasy Mother Fuckers who nailed there theme tune EMF to the walls of The Garage to complete a brilliant fun upbeat set that left everyone smiling.

  • 53482089048 680dae096c o
  • 53482089038 33b76dd8bf o
  • 53481046077 25636ab526 o
  • 53482089033 3463a8bd94 o
  • 53481948081 ced9afde65 o
  • 53481046067 6ccf1a6344 o
  • 53481948086 48d17b291e o
  • 53482089028 8ae88e26da o
  • 53481046042 2beaff944a o
  • 53482253374 dda72baeff o
  • 53481948021 c23237a822 o
  • 53481948016 b79ee20e4f o
  • 53482358320 352fd5b16b o
  • 53482253354 d76d9772e8 o
  • 53482089013 2fa1c2d76e o
  • 53481948051 1d42fd8b02 o
  • 53482253334 92900f486e o
  • 53482358265 4c2428de25 o
  • 53482088978 5004c5443f o
  • 53482253284 6e4c551612 o
  • 53482358260 e37c9f774d o
  • 53482253249 5c7ec0c77b o
  • 53482089048 c97536e29e n
  • 53482089038 81298385dd n
  • 53481046077 f6173e2a18 n
  • 53482089033 2ae26e4d7f n
  • 53481948081 25636ab526 n
  • 53481046067 fd6375f6c1 n
  • 53481948086 5feed3fcc2 n
  • 53482089028 43fea54810 n
  • 53481046042 91921eccb8 n
  • 53482253374 17645d689c n
  • 53481948021 bc01ef77a5 n
  • 53481948016 d8978de272 n
  • 53482358320 07b468a316 n
  • 53482253354 0ccc3018d7 n
  • 53482089013 5e0bcb8259 n
  • 53481948051 a654d8963b n
  • 53482253334 4c91be1c4c n
  • 53482358265 98e63cc8c1 n
  • 53482088978 2a06a1d3b8 n
  • 53482253284 f657f270f0 n
  • 53482358260 395bf56773 n
  • 53482253249 c09cee2176 n

Live review of EMF, The Dirt and Funke & The Two Tone Baby @ The Garage, London on 20th January 2024 by Simon Phillips. Photography by Louise Phillips.

Rockshot Magazine’s Photographer Favourites 2023

Keane @ Shepherd's Bush Empire as part of BRITs Week for War Child (Patrick Gunning)

Keane Are Somewhere Only We Know At BRITs Week 24 For War Child

Ahead of the twentieth anniversary tour of their 2004 debut record taking in sold out arenas in Bournemouth, Cardiff...
Grace Cummings (Tajette O'Halloran)

Grace Cummings Shares Common Man

Following first single On And On, rising Australian star Grace Cummings has released Common Man, the second track...
Caroline Romano (Kelsey Runge)

Caroline Romano Would Rather Be Used By You

Rising alt-pop sensation Caroline Romano has just dropped her anthemic new single, Used By You. Over the course of her...
Ash @ 100 Club as part of BRITs Week for War Child (Jed Cullen)

Ash Hold A Shining Light At BRITs Week 24 For War Child

What happens after an arena-filling band disappears from the spotlight? In Ash’s case, they carry on regardless. In...
Aerial Salad (Press)

Aerial Salad Share Tied To Pieces Of Paper

It’s with good reason that Aerial Salad describe themselves as "Madchester Punk". From their formation in 2016, the...
Crawlers @ Rough Trade East (Paul Lyme)

Crawlers Deliver A Valentine’s Treat At Rough Trade East

The queue stretches down through the glowing Shoreditch street for half a block. Someone’s cut out hundreds of pink...
Alice Cooper @ The O2 Arena (Kalpesh Patel)

Alice Cooper Announces UK Tour Including Hammersmith London Shows

Icon, pioneer, and Rock And Roll Hall Of Fame inductee Alice Cooper has achieved so much in his lengthy career. But...
Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes @ Roundhouse (Nick Allan)

Frank Carter & The Rattlesnakes’ Dark Rainbows Shine At The Roundhouse

Few musicians and artists that I’ve followed over the years have evolved as much as Frank Carter has since I first saw him fronting Gallows when they opened for the MC5/DTK at the Underworld in Camden back in December 2006, back when I described Frank as a Wee Ginger Gobshite who offered out the audience for a fight, Now nearly 18 years later Frank is playing two nights At The Roundhouse to celebrate the release of dark Rainbow his fifth album with The Rattlesnakes.

Pin It on Pinterest

Share This

Share Thing