Live Review – Colossal Squid

The Kraken has been released, and his name is Adam Betts – the man with suspiciously few limbs for being able to pull off his one-man drumming experience ‘Colossal Squid’. I brave the treacherous waters of suburban Birmingham to try and catch him supporting for the math rock sentinels ‘Covet’, on Sunday 21st August 2022, at The Asylum.

Colossal Squid is a solo drumming project that follows on from Adam’s work with Three Trapped Tigers, The Heritage Orchestra’, and ’Shobaleader One‘. Citing influences such as ’Aphex Twin‘, and ’Autechre, Adam’s incorporation of live drumming in this style is a refreshingly new take on what is now an established genre. He uses all kinds of digital drum pads hooked up to Ableton, in combination with the live kit to enable his one-man drumming showstopper.

Adam brings a truly unique energy to the room when he plays – right from the first kick. His high level of technical skill and sense of time, combined with his on-stage demeanour make for an explosive set of punk meets trance. Live is where his music is at it’s best.

In between songs, he recollects the time his track ‘Aneek’ got chosen for an advertisement in the United Arab Emirates – a lucky break for an underground musician – only to be rejected last minute. As it happened, ‘Aneek’, perfectly translates to ‘I Fuck’ in Arabic…

…That song was promptly renamed.

Adam’s gotten closer to true improvisation with ‘hybrid drumming’ than most others before him, and it’s as liberating composition-wise as it is constricting – a ‘Man Vs Machine’ approach to writing, as the computer tries to force his hand (or, tentacle?) towards more complex ideas.

His self-titled debut album culminated in a hard earned victory for him, though – “it’s really a punk album with tape delays instead of guitar chords!”

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