Music review: Acid Klaus

It’s been a while since I went to The Adelphi for a gig. I always used to rock up with no idea who was playing, ‘You pays your money and takes your chance,’ as the saying goes. In my opinion sometimes it’s the best way to do it.

What tempted me back? Coerced by my beautiful girlfriend, and tickets she paid for – always a bonus! We went to see Acid Klaus at the legendary venue. I had no idea what I was walking into…. And wow did it hit me!

I was treated to a sonic journey of acid house, techno, punk, funk and a little bit of disco, which had my old bones jerking and dancing away. Not sure I mentioned I was 55.

I wasn’t the only one of a certain age; I bumped into a few old faces from the scene back in the day. Adelphi was our old stomping ground, but one of the best things about the night was we got to mix with the young folks, who knowingly nodded as the eclectic beats filled the room. They know, I am now a convert.

To say Acid Klaus captivated the audience with their amazing sound is an understatement. This night was euphonious. Hardly surprising from a band led by Adrian Flannagan, who has worked with legends such as Jarvis Cocker, Sean Lennon and Yoko Ono, Human League, Maxine Peake, Fat White Family, and get this… the cowboy from The Village People! Can that pedigree get any better? Only the Kennel Club can decide.

The set- up is ABBA-esque  – two girls, two boys in a line banging out amazing music. However, this is not the 70s/80s, this is of the moment, it’s now. It’s edgy electronic music that takes you into the future with pulsing basslines and swirling synths. Also, I can’t remember Bjorn jumping into the crowd, as Adrian did, singing and dancing with The Adelphi audience, making this gig such an immersive experience that will live long in the memory.

As we all tried to grab the mic and dance with the main man, the tune, ‘The Three Rooms of Nightclub Marilyn’, rocked the room. ‘Party Sized Away Day’ opened the gig, setting the mood for an evening of electronica, which ended with a rousing ‘Heaven’s For Sale’ – if it is I am buying!

Backing-up Acid Klaus was WET MAN, a Sheffield pal of Adrian. Again I wasn’t sure what to expect. Even less so when the man appeared on stage on his own! My immediate thoughts were, ‘There’s no band, no DJ, no instruments. How is this going to work?’ – I did mention I was of a certain age, didn’t I ?

Next thing, a small box appeared, of which I have no idea what it was, or what it may do. But, sumptuous beats appeared from it, who knew? And then WET MAN, looking so cool in sunglasses, hit the stage – solo. His dour, sarcastic post-punk lyrics and electro sounds had me chuckling and dancing in equal measure. The song titles say it all, ‘Anorak Shack’, ‘These Freaks’ and ‘I Believe In Lizard Men’ are both ironic and infectious. It is a combination not to be missed.

If Acid Klaus or WET MAN are gigging near you, ‘pays your money’, and if they are both on the bill, no need to take the chance; it’ll be worth it.

[David Paine]