Friday at Incubate saw Canadian Blast co-hosting a reception with Gonzo Circus the Belgian/ Dutch magazine who were celebrating twenty years of publishing.
Shortly after the reception closing we headed over to 013, a multi room venue that, from the outside, looked a little like a giant Chesterfield sofa studded with shiny CD’s. Inside Miracle Fortress were starting the evening with a phenomenal light show to go along with their finely crafted electro pop. With the new album more beat driven from his debut ‘Five Roses, frontman Graham Van Pelt and his drummer were accompanied by light flashes, strobes and lasers pulsing in time with the beats as he weaves his melodies over the top of them.
After their set we took the journey upstairs to Stage 01 where Nadja were weaving their atmospheric and heavy drones to the delight of the packed out room. With the heavy tones reverberating throughout the room, the passages of sound constantly shifted and evolved before giving way to plaintiff guitar parts. Shortly after their set finished Nadja man Aidan Baker was out of the venue and across the road to play as part of Picastro, with whom Nadja have just released a split EP. Picastro’s set is full of minimal guitars and sparse arrangements, with elements of noise thrown in to the mix also. It is perhaps surprising then, that Hysen suggests that much of her new record is inspired by her interest in boxer Mike Tyson.
Back at 013, Austra arrived having lost instruments in transit from their show in Istanbul. Luckily, front-woman Katie Stelmanis had often played shows with both Nadja and Picastro, and the requisite equipment was borrowed. Having been on tour for much of 2011, Austra have become something of a well oiled touring machine- Flanked by the dancing and coo-ing twins from Tasseomancy, the band work through their Polaris shortlisted album “Feel It Break”, the crowd hanging on Stelmanis’ every word, dancing and bobbing along as the electro-pop crackles into life. Before long the captivating performance is over, leaving a delighted audience excitedly discussing the hilights of the set (some indeed miming some of their favourite ‘moves’.)