Angus Finlayson 15/04/2009
A warm, oaky Glaswegian patter can be an irresistible draw, as demonstrated tonight by Stephen Livingstone of ERRORS; it is his self-effacing banter that lures a timid crowd out from the recesses of the Talking Heads at the beginning of a three quarters of an hour set, and his offhand thanks that signals hometime. What lies in between, though, is mostly not speech, but rather a 4-man musical animal that flutters freely between the twin poles of post-rock and post-hardcore like a true child of the noughties. On the one hand is the measured introspection of Mogwai (no surprise given ERRORS' long tenure on the roster of their Rock Action label), and on the other the gyrating polyrhythms of Foals and Youthmovies.
Presiding over all, though, is the synthesiser, or more accurately synthesisers. Lots of em. ERRORS manage to perform the logic-defying feat of exuding that distinctive guitar band musk, whilst in actuality having as many keyboards as fretboards on stage, and using the former at least twice as much. For this they deserve some form of special recognition - the fatuous label 'post-electro' has been bandied about - or at the very least 45 minutes of rapt attention from you, the gig-going proletariat. Granted, such a fusion is by no means new (Battles are another regular comparison), but ERRORS deliver it in an admirably direct and unfussed way, perhaps indicative of their Scottish roots (or maybe that's just my latent racism coming through).
In spite of the substantial musical panache presented to them, the audience seem intent on staying in the torturous limbo of the hands-in-pockets-to-arms-folded switcheroo (with the exception of the groomed, intellectual-looking guy pogoing innocuously in the third row). This could have something to do with a lack of onstage charisma; drummer James Hamilton is the main visual draw, being the only member to shed a credible amount of sweat. A more kinetic crowd may have perked up the morose indie-grimaces of the other three members; a looser dancefloor would certainly have eased the passing of a couple of overlong disco constructions towards the end of the set, which had the quartet coming across as a more earnest !!!.
This seems to be a common malady afflicting bands venturing into the world of danceability; that the average live music connoisseur has a list of inhibitions as long as your arm which tends to include an unwillingness to fling oneself around in a ridiculous manner. For this, then, ERRORS can be forgiven, as it is a fault, not with them, but with humanity in general. Rest assured they're still a pretty good band. And that's what matters, right?