Piece by Piece

ISO recently returned to Live to release their latest album, Piece by Piece, with instrumental sludge metal band STRAGE and the indie popsters Asleep In Transit sharing the bill. It was a weird one. Bob Perfect reviews the show.


It felt good to be back at Live for ISO’s Piece by Piece album launch. With the “new” and improved Winston re-opening the previous week, and Live moving forward despite their rather messy, confusing and long winded bout of bureaucracy, it feels like Durban, despite the council’s wishes, is doing its damndest to show that live music will never die here. Saturday night saw a line-up that any city in the world would be proud to host in a venue that any city in the world would be proud to have, even if sometimes, you have to wait for a drink.


They even did a Skrillex cover which I’m pretty sure is how one of the Seven Seals gets broken


Uh, so now that that’s out the way… First up on that world beating line-up was STRAGE. Having seen them a week earlier at The Winston, I was rather giddy to see what Live’s poes-big sound system could do for the “loud-as-fuck trio”, as Luke so elegantly put it. They started with a  subtle build up of feedback until people took notice and got ready for the sonic onslaught to begin. Unfortunately, the onslaught turned out to be a cold war that never manifested into the full scale nuclear assault I’d prepared myself for. Four gigantic amps and a sound system that cost more than I’ll ever earn somehow didn’t put out enough noise to drown out the constant chattering of the crowd. Luke and I had spoken the previous week how the crowd talking in the quieter bits of STRAGE’s assault actually added to their shows, but when they’re at full force, I want to feel like I’m drowning in a sea of noise, not splashing around in the shallow end with Sandra Dee. Quotes from their set included “They’re a lot more mellow than I thought,” “Sounds like they could be a movie soundtrack,” and “They’re pretty fucking awesome.” All of which were on point. I just wish it was louder. Oh, and big ups to the three headbanging girls in the front though, you ladies have the right idea.



Up next were Asleep In Transit who I really shouldn’t like. I’m not really into poppy sentimental indie with tambourines and cutesy boy/girl harmonies and shit. Okay, I am, but I have to act like I don’t or everyone’s gonna call me a fag. Kids are so mean. Luckily Asleep In Transit were there to console me. They were a far cry from the opening act, double the members, none of the heaviness, and far more than an ounce of softness in them. Even with six members Asleep In Transit were never overwhelming. I guess some could argue that’s a bad thing but sometimes you just want some comfort. Like holding hands in between fighting and fucking. With a nice girl. And yes nice girls fuck. Go to an Asleep In Transit gig and you might find that out for yourself. They also fight, you may find that out a bit too late though. Sorry bro.



ISO, who have lost the chronus from their name were the headliners for the night. Which made sense since it was their album launch. Chronos was the mythological personification of time and losing him could symbolise a moving with the times, their changing time signatures or ISO becoming timeless. And that could just be a ridiculous turn of phrase to bring up that ISO have mixed dubstep into their newer material. They even did a Skrillex cover which I’m pretty sure is how one of the Seven Seals gets broken. It’s a change that could be seen as a bold crossover, shameless pandering or whatever judgement that gets made when bands experiment with genres, I just know that they composed it perfectly and that at times it was heavier than tuning an ou’s mom when she’s dead. ISO have always been good at building tension and releasing it, and that release has gotten much more satisfying. I wasn’t the only one who was satisfied as most of the crowd seemed to get caught up in a trance by Richard’s theatrics which would break into them losing their shit to the wub-wub breakdowns. ISO aren’t rookies and not every song has been given the dubstep treatment and they wove together a set that was delicate and precise. At any point their experimentation could have bitten them in the arse but the set flowed effortlessly and at the end the only disappointment was the lack of confetti cannons. People fucking love confetti cannons.



*All images © Gareth Bargate

5 Responses to “Piece by Piece”
  1. Daniel says:

    I too was thoroughly disappointed by the softness of Strage. Music like that is only really effective when it is very, very loud.

    And also, I was super disappointed at the lack of confetti cannons. That shit’s intense bro.

  2. Steve says:

    Fair review dude. To the bands defense, half of Live’s sound rig was at the rugby that evening…hence the distinct lack of bass. It wasn’t just Strage, it all three bands were lacking something.

  3. Jolling! says:

    Did people pay half price entry then? Nope. World class venue? Not a chance.

  4. xdoomx says:

    Yeah I’m just gonna come out and say it, but it’s not kiff moving half the sound rig to rugby. When I heard that at soundcheck my soul hit the floor. Even worse knowing that some rugby jocks at a rave were getting better sound than we were (tongue in cheek).
    The low volume at LIVE is the main reason we have put off playing here for so long.
    That said, I have indeed heard it sounding INCREDIBLE (a Shadowclub and someone else gig a few months back comes to mind – no idea what was being done different or who threw a tantrum but it was KICKING).. I was gobsmacked at the difference to what I usually hear, and that was the only time I found myself thinking “I’d love to play through this rig”
    However, its still somewhere to play at least. The only other easy to play option in Durban is the Winston which is looking and sounding GREAT after the makeover.

    Again, we all know the council issues they’re having. Speaking to Brett at soundcheck it became clear that they had to keep the levels down or face the wrath of the Metro (they were seen ticketing cars on Stamford Hill rd later that night).

    I have faith that everything will be sorted out in time and we can come back and play the venue at concert level.

  5. Zweli says:

    This was a hilarious read!

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