Words by Matt Hill, Intro & Photos by Jamie Giberti.
The second of our in-depth individual band reviews from the superb Beyond the Redshift festival comes in the form of Irish group God is An Astronaut. Without anything further, it’s over to Matt…
After quenching one’s thirst with a delightful drink and some standard conversation time with Jamie, I positioned myself for the next offering. Now, I had intentionally avoided going over the back catalogue of GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT because I wanted to discover their music for the first time in it’s purest form. Simply, I went into the show knowing OF this band but with no idea of what they sounded like.
Immediately, I start grinning as their powerful mix of post-rock and beautiful clean guitar cuts through a mixture of synth and noise. Having no idea of what songs they’re playing, there are parallels, and perhaps clear inspirations, from bands like ANATHEMA, MOGWAI, THE CURE and atmospheric-synth bands like TANGERINE DREAM and AMON DUUL II. There are even moments I sense I could be watching members of THE MARS VOLTA and OCEANSIZE, but I think anybody with a mature and vetted taste in music is almost certainly going to understand and appreciate the style of music I’m aiming to describe here; even looking back over the noted artists I start to feel giddy again…
This is a performance that is typical of this scene; broody, majestic and both visually and aurally overwhelming. That said, the balance is perfect and the projected imagery again serves as a captivating canvas. There’s not one pair of eyes averted from the stage as the band rip through their set. There’s a power and attraction about bands playing their nuts off and again, I see the security guard from the JESU set sticking two fingers to responsibility as he pretty much watches the entire set without averting his eyes.
GOD IS AN ASTRONAUT (whom I later learn are from Ireland) are clearly a wise and talented bunch of fellows; they have a maturity in their music that doesn’t come across as generic nor watered down. Their inspirations are clear without being cliched and their music is emotive without being boring or typecast.
To be honest, as the set starts to draw to a close, I feel like I’ve come along to their own show here. The reception is warm and knowing; this is a pleasant experience for those attending and a very impressive first-dip into their world for me (and I would imagine others).
Having since acquired a few of their albums, I know I’ve discovered another brilliant band who I can also say put on a damned fine show.
8 / 10
For more reviews from Beyond The Redshift such as our coverage of Jesu then please click here. There is also our huge review of the rest of the festival as a whole which you can read here. Please check out our exclusive gallery of God Is An Astronaut’s performance from Beyond The Redshift 2014 below: