Saturday, 2 July 2011

TV On The Radio @ ABC, Glasgow, 28 June

When TV On The Radio last played at the ABC, they were cheered by a packed and passionate crowd still enthralled with Dear Science, the band’s hugely successful third album which had come out two months prior. Almost three years on their return to this venue is met by a half-full hall, and the suspicion that new record Nine Types Of Light has underwhelmed fans, despite more glowing praise from critics, seems confirmed as the gig struggles to get going.

Six of the first seven songs, all new, elicit little more than polite applause; the oldie, an exuberant performance of Return To Cookie Mountain’s Blues From Down Here, also flounders, such is the crowd's skepticism. Somehow, the band turn it round: Province and Red Dress set up a loose and lively Staring At The Sun, and then Repetition – a Nine Types album track – is a sensation, Tunde Adebimpe’s fiery rambling vocals juxtaposing with Kyp Malone’s falsetto, while the band rushes headfirst into a cacophonous climax. However the dust settles on Nine Types, in Repetition they've an instant fillip for any awkward moment.