Chilean psych heavyweights Föllakzoid played my favourite show of the year at Rough Trade on Saturday night, and I will be amazed if anyone beats it. There is no better scene than Santiago right now, and the band pulled off a masterclass of cosmic proportions.
Support act SQÜRL feature director Jim Jarmusch on guitar and vocals, which has definitely brought a few extra faces through the door. I thought they were great, the songs have a slowcore influence to them, along the lines of Codeine and Low. The sound fills the room and they are definitely a good fit for tonight’s bill.
I had a chance to speak to Föllakzoid bass player Juan Pablo Rodrigues before the show and ask if he has anything from Blow Your Mind Records on him. I feel a bit like an addict in search of the next fix when he says he has to check his case and will be back in a few minutes, I leave more than happy with the latest albums from Vuelveteloca, The Ganjas and the reissued Tsunamis self-titled record.
The band leap into Electric, the opening track from new album, III, which is out now in the US on Sacred Bones, and straight away they settle into a groove that doesn’t let up.
When Follakzoid and their fellow Chilean/BYM friends The Holydrug Couple played in New York in 2013, it was my favourite show of the year (out of 150+), and if anything the band have gone up a gear. The new material on III is completely and utterly mesmerising in the strictest sense of the word, even moreso live as you can see the songs shift and build. The band are puppet-masters, controlling the audience with their sound, you can’t help but get pulled around and swept away in the trance.
When the band want or need to, the guitars and drums can really crash through your senses, there is much more power to the live sound than on record. This is best shown when they play 99, from the band’s second album, II. Guitarist Domingo Garcia-Huidobro gets pretty animated while the rest of the band mould the rhythm, speaking of Garcia-Huidobro, as I mentioned last week, you can see his film, Patir to Live, at Nitehawk cinema tonight with a live score from the man himself.
Watching Föllakzoid play is the best high, a true transformative experience, while I was watching them all life’s anxieties went away, and everything felt good. Some bands reach for the stars, but Föllakzoid bring them to you.