Electric Eel Shock @ Sound Control

Sound Control
09th September 2010
Written by Rachel Yarwood
Photography by Lorna Ransome

Metal Man
Mr Toad
Out of Control
RnR Can Rescue the World
No Shit Sherlock
Don't say Fuck
Iron Man
Zombie RnR
Suicide RnR
Scream for Me

Nowadays, having undergone a recent makeover, Sound Control is no longer a music store but a venue, playing host to bands and artists, and unless you knew Manchester and where exactly this place was located you could literally just walk past and not notice it was even there. A bit of a hidden gem.

However, as the venue it is now your first thoughts would be that they simply removed everything, stuck a bar in the corner and threw a few leather sofas to the equation. On the other hand, the almost dingy feel and the toned down aura that greets you is just that comfort that makes you feel as though you are with your own and there is no stereotype. It is the epitome of cool, and the added smoking balcony that looks out onto the canal you get the sense that at least someone has put some thought into it... just shame about the homebrew beer!

When first seeing where Electric Eel Shock would be playing, my heart dropped a little seeing only about six or seven people dotted around the room, either casually leaning on the barrier or against the wall with a pint in hand. The stage itself was rather plain with just your bog standard red, yellow and blue lighting, and the merch stand (once it was spotted!) almost invisible, was perched in a corner at the side of the stage. Now this isn’t a usual thing one would expect to see at a JMusic gig, however, as the second support act finish, the few soon becomes a crowd, or rather a gathering, of around 100 people who look more like your average college or university students. There is no generic crowd here tonight.

 Electric Eel Shock begin their set at ten o'clock, a little late for most, and Aki enters first looking slightly nervous, pacing the stage and glancing over everything, but never looking out towards the crowd.

You can see all the avid fans in the first three rows, a few of them are also wearing previous tour tee-shirts and Aki, at seeing them, becomes considerably more comfortable with his environment, and unleashes his crowd pleasing skills by not only delivering his lines faultlessly, but every so often walking to the front and leaning towards them, interacting with them. This is met by great enthusiasm and two fans even getting up on stage, as there was no crowd control anywhere in sight, to rock alongside him.

The music itself, rises to deafening levels and if this is not enough, the third song in, ironically titled "Bastard", Aki takes it in his stride to shout out that not only are we all bastards, but EES "… are bastards from Japan!" which is again met by great applause and cheering.

Electric Eel Shock continue to play an array of songs from previous albums but mainly from their album which was released in 2009 entitled "Sugoi Indeed". Throughout the entire set, both Aki and Kazuto continue to work the crowd by encouraging them to dance along to the music whilst performing strange dances of their own, to drink up their beer as they too drank plenty, and just to enjoy the night.

The band finish their main set at around 11 and only take a few minutes to catch a breath before returning for the encore. Aki couldn't express enough their love for rock and roll, many of their songs including "rock and roll" with the title, as again he asks the crowd whether they love this genre. Then to the crowd's pleasure, he begins to play Slash's infamous "Sweet Child of Mine" guitar intro before leading the way into their next song "Suicide Rock and Roll".

For the next twenty minutes or so, the band seem to have turned demonic, spouting energy from something or somewhere. Aki takes the opportunity to show off his multi-talented skills by taking Kazuto's bass and playing that instead of his guitar, whilst Kazuto leaps from his amp in high spirits. You can definitely tell that things are now drawing to a close and you can't help but feel in this instance that you wish they had more time to continue the gig.

 I don't think that you could ask for anything more from a rock and roll band. They welcomed all who were here to watch them and continuously shouted out humorous compliments of "you stink of fish".

This was a tremendous performance by Electric Eel Shock. They are not just a rock and roll band, but a great act to see live. They are lively, energetic and simply fun to watch. The music they performed tonight was nothing short of memorable. It was fast, melodic, and hardcore. Those who didn't make it definitely missed out, but not to worry, they did promise that they would return and considering that they have visited the UK to play at various places around the country every year, this is a promise that we can certainly say will not fall through.