Picture House Social gigs run out of the ballroom of the Abbeydale Picture House, an iconic grade 2 listed cinema built in the 1920’s. There’s a lot of local love for the building, now kept alive by a dedicated bunch of people determined to restore it, if not to its former glory, to a stable state. Meanwhile it still stands as quirky little venue that brings musical magnificence to the masses.
And Snapped Ankles really tore it up.
Adrena Adrena were an unknown quantity, who placed their synth and drum set-up off the stage and proceeded to play homage to a moon-like ball of projected organic visuals. Industrious drumming from E-Da Kazuhisa (also of the post-rock wonders Seefeel) and electronic sound-scaping by visual artist Daisy Dickinson made for a captivating, art-house start to the show.
And then Nuha Ruby Ra arrived. Amazonian in attitude if not stature, in a flesh-flattering black pinstripe suit, she let rip with the spirit of Bjork, the creativity of Yoko Ono and the raw presence of Skin. Wailing over apocalyptic doom bass, she made her way around the audience. It felt as if Nuha Ruby Ra’s vocal energy was being spread throughout the room, readying us for the next exciting instalment.
I missed Snapped Ankles entrance. I was gushing at Nuha Ruby Ra. Not sorry.
If you’d asked me what Snapped Ankles were like before this gig I would have said something like “Shamanic post-punk industro-pop electronica”. But that would have made me sound like a plank. Having said that, Snapped Ankles love a bit of wood, and their home-made log-synths were prominent on the stage. Dressed in costumes which I can only describe as a mash-up of pagan Woodwose, ceremonial Shaman and Dark Morris, they constructed an earthy, primal, on-stage pageant, layering visual mythology over their already arresting music.
Snapped Ankles played their antlers off, gifting the crowd with elongated, almost rambling versions of their perfect, post-punk trance-pop tunes. With no barrier and a low stage, the audience were essentially on stage with the band. And they were loving it.
Review & Photography by H J Nicol