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S.C.U.M, Live At The Workman's Club
A work in progress
Roe McDermott, 02 Jul 2012
S.C.U.M frontman Thomas Cohen’s blend of flares, bare feet, flowing locks, flamboyant hand movements, sporadic kneeling and far-away gaze brings to mind an embryonic combination of Nick Cave, Jim Morrison and an acid-tripping Jesus.
Behind this nascent-Shamanic figure, the band are impressive. Drummer Melissa Rigby keeps a consistently tight rhythm, providing a solid base for psychedelic synth beats to dance around. But though, individually, all of the band members hold their own, the show clearly belongs to Cohen (aka Peaches Geldof’s other half).
Not that he can be accused of showboating. His strong, ethereal vocals generally act as another instrument, enmeshed in the wall of sound created by distorted guitar on ‘Amber Hands’, or in the spiralling noise of ‘Whitechapel’ – adding to the hypnotic, trance-like vibe of tracks that are based around repetitive keyboard lines, layered crescendos and motorised psychedelic tinges. With only one album to their name, S.C.U.M’s set is short, clocking in at under forty minutes. They are clearly a work in progress. But if Cohen can develop the performance gene of his progenitors, the future could be very interesting indeed.