Concert Review: Clinic, April 23, The Garrison


The reaction I got when I told a couple of people about this Clinic show was basically, “they’re still around?” This was, to be fair, sort of my reaction too. Not that I was surprised they were still a going concern but because I really hadn’t heard much about them lately. It seems that more and more these days we’re programmed to move on to the next big thing and so I hadn’t really given the band a listen since 2008’s Do It! However the Liverpool based band has been knocking out albums on a steady basis since 2000 and there was a pretty strong turnout at their show at The Garrison so maybe its just me and my circle of friends who haven’t been paying close enough attention.

In my opinion, Clinic’s sound matches their stage presentation of dressing in matching scrubs and surgical masks; the repetitive, hypnotic grooves of their electronic/psych/post-punk/whatever tunes does seem to somehow signify a surgical precision/clinical nature. Which is not to say that these guys are unemotional in their presentation or too rigid in their structures, just that the visuals fit nicely with the band’s sound. I like that these guys have stuck with the medical concept over all these years. It works for them. As I was watching them, I decided it would be a good idea for some enterprising individual to put together a multi-genre festival bill featuring just bands that fit the same theme. Off the top of my head, Clinic could share a bill with Dr. Octagon, General Surgery, the County Medical Examiners (a band made up of actual medical examiners, FYI) and um, maybe a reunion of Doctor And The Medics?

Partway through the show, I noticed singer Ade Blackburn had a mouth hole cut through his surgical mask. I didn’t notice it at first but once I did notice it, I couldn’t stop and it weirded me out a bit. Just imagine walking into a hospital and seeing some guy with a mouth hole cut in his mask. Would you trust that guy to operate on you? I think not. Would you, on the other hand, want to hear him sing “Walking With Thee” or any of the tunes off of their latest, Free Reign? If so, then you’re good to go.

Posted on by Paul in Concerts

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