Meat Beat Manifesto, Temple Bar Music Centre, Dublin.

While I’m not overly familiar with their back catalogue, Meat Beat Manifesto are one of those groups that sound very familiar because so many people have ripped them off.  Jack Dangers owns this distinct sound and he owned the Temple Bar Music Centre last night. Bands like The Chemical Brothers may be selling all the records but Meat Beat Manifesto broke all the ground.

This was perhaps the most criminally under populated gig I’ve ever been to. There were approximately 30 people in total and that’s including the boys on stage and those at the merchandise stall. The poor turnout did not mean poor quality from Meat Beat Manifesto. Jack Dangers and Ben Stokes were in fine form. To make up for the fact that the live show consists of two men twiddling knobs they shoved two big screens at the front of the stage. The visuals were incredibly well synched to the music. Footage was culled from old Sci-Fi and cult eighties movies was spliced with news items and random pieces of film. The dialogue from the movies was sampled and processed.

What impressed me was that Stokes appeared to be chopping and changing footage live. He would mix in video of Jack Dangers singing as it happened and then add effects to the image. I found it impossible to look away. The most memorable part of the visuals was close ups of George Bush followed quickly by the Appalachian banjo kid from Deliverance, both mixed into the nuclear bomb rodeo sequence of Dr. Strangelove.

I only recognised three songs out of the whole night. “Radio Babylon” was an obvious crowd pleaser along with “God O.D.” and “Prime Audio Soup”. The sound was clear and powerful, the tables resonated with the low end from the beats. A couple of tracks from the Tino Corp project were played, what I later learned to be a track from Halloween Dub was particularly thrilling. The very dark reggae of the track was very intense, it was like a Gollum made from the afterbirth of “Radio Babylon”. I have nothing but total respect to the duo for playing over half an hour after the venue’s curfew for what was really only a handful of people. 

It’s nice to see performers with some respect for their audience.