A primal, urgent, gripping performance: Industrial/electronic duo HIDE unleashed a torrent of brutal sound upon their Dalston crowd as part of their co-headline tour with Kontravoid on Thursday night.
Opening with ‘Chainsaw’, taken from the band’s latest album Hell Is Here (released on Dais Records), vocalist Heather Gabel and percussionist Seth Sher performed their aural exorcisms beneath frantic strobe lights.
The lyrics to ‘Chainsaw’ are informed by the street harassment Gabel has received in real life. Dressed like a misogynist’s nightmare with her unhinged grin and heavily blackened eyes & lips; she violently screamed the words “Smile! Bitch!”, throwing their abuse back in to the ether with scathing vitriol.
HIDE’s originality as a band lies in their undermining of patriarchal forces through powerful lyrical statements and abrasive noise. The pair transform fear and vulnerability in to distracting industrial tunes, and the impact of their efforts are best appreciated when seen and heard in a live environment.
Gabel’s frenzied, intense performance style perfectly accompanied Sher’s pulverizing beats. Between songs and blackouts, she removed articles of her clothing and continued to dominate the stage with her jagged movements and inescapable stares. By the time the duo performed ‘Raw Dream’, Gabel’s battle cries were fully fleshed – perfect for an anthem that tackles the imbalance of power.
Despite the brevity of their set, the impact of HIDE’s performance is one that lasts long after the strobes have finished flickering. Their thought-provoking, caustic, vital shows are a much needed antidote to the hellish reality they challenge through their art.
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