Generally at your average gig you go in with a pretty good idea of what’s going to happen. Riffs will be shredded, drums pounded, lyrics screeched or crooned, functional banter will take place between songs, you might get a bit of energetic onstage pogoing. And you’ll probably have a good time too, but when our senses are assailed with the unexpected then something entirely different and full of wonder occurs.
The unexpected is very much Thomas Truax’s domain, but before we’re introduced to his fantastical world we have the equally unexpected treat of violin & cello duo Mein Haus, who set about abusing their instruments with shocking force, conjuring up an imaginary arthouse horror movie in the minds of all who are present. It’s not all brute force and nerve-grating tension however, as they pluck, bow and scrape their way through a labyrinthine whirl of dynamic twists and turns that keep us all on our toes.
Having had the scene set for a night of bewilderment we are joined by our friendly guide through this strange world, Thomas Truax and his mechanical bandmates, who tonight include spinning drum machine Mother Superior, the magnificent mutant gramophone The Hornicator, newcomer The Hornmonica and the frankly bizarre Stringaling.
Together they take us on a trip through Thomas’ homeland of Wowtown, meeting its uncanny residents and rituals along the way. It seems like the ideal place to escape to in the current climate, and ‘Swimming Back to Wowtown’, from recent LP All That Heaven Allows captures that sentiment perfectly.
It’s not long before Truax has unplugged his guitar and is wandering the building with a tiny spotlight illuminating a spot on the ceiling for fan favourite ‘Full Moon Over Wowtown’, followed by a cheeky rendition of ‘Blue Moon’ on the Saxogramophone.
For long-term fans there are plenty of new wonders to encounter, from the choir in a box for recent single ‘Humane Train’, to the simply gorgeous ‘Save Me’, as well as a smattering of familiar friends, with Stringaling classic ‘You Whistle While You Sleep’ and ‘Beehive Heart’, performed in spinning LED propeller glasses which double up as a percussive instrument, amongst the highlights.
But words can only do so much justice to what goes on at a Thomas Truax show. As welcoming as it is undoubtedly weird, a trip to Wowtown should be at the top of you gig going agenda.
Thomas Truax’s ninth studio album All That Heaven Allows is out now via Psycho Teddy Records. Check out our interview with Thomas here.