Acid Mothers Temple @ Sneaky Pete’s, Edinburgh, 21 Oct

The otherworldly and psychedelic Acid Mothers Temple take over Sneaky's diminutive stage for an experimental experience not to be missed

Live Review by Briony Pickford | 25 Oct 2017

Acid Mothers Temple & the Melting Paraiso U.F.O. are known for their unparalleled ability to push rock'n'roll through a disco ball and cover it in stardust. Tonight is no exception. With a fusion of energetic jams, a theremin and a plethora of pedals, tonight fully delivers the psychedelic madness that their notoriety promises.

For the first of their three Scottish shows for R&R Concerts, Acid Mothers are at Sneaky Pete’s, one of the best venues in Edinburgh. While Sneaky's being as small as a pea can suit some bands, tonight’s artists perhaps do require a tad more space. The front row produces a wall of sound that fails to display the intricate synth manipulations and guitar riffs in full, but at the back we're able to truly experience AMT's killer sound.

Upon entering the venue, we immediately spot Kawabata Makoto, the founder, lead guitarist and mastermind behind it all. His wispy long hair and beard conjures stars and cloaks in our minds; it feels a bit like being in the presence of some psychedelic sorcerer. The imagery doesn't stop when they all gather on stage together, thoughts of a Tarantino-esque band of villains begin.

Higashi Hiroshi, the man of many talents, takes up the harmonica to start with a very energetic jam on Black Sabbath’s The Wizard. The harmonica gives off a spaghetti western vibe that Tabata Mitsuru dances to seductively yet comically before diving in with roaring, intermittent vocals. Accompanying is a fiery rhythm section that features a wild phase pedal so often it’s as if it’s an instrument in and of itself.

Pink Lady Lemonade is the standout track of the night. The band’s exceptional ability is shown in the 20-minute saga that sees them travel through distorted, fuzzy and delayed riffs with a level of success only attained after years spent in the psychedelic temple. They shift to a cover of Gong’s Om Riff, but with the Acid Mothers' kaleidoscopic effect it feels as if they wrote it themselves. The return to Pink Lady Lemonade is so seamless that as they finish the song, we wonder, what planet did we just visit?

The use of the theremin adds to the theatrical style that Acid Mothers proudly carry. Despite being such a farcical instrument Hiroshi commands the sound with proficient skill which again emotes many a magical world. The synths soar above the sound whilst Satoshima Nani provides the unrelenting drums every late 60s/early 70s psychedelic rock-inspired band needs.

Hiroshi holds a commanding position throughout tonight’s gig, combining all of the instruments and effects to create an incredibly atmospheric work of art. No one artist is allowed their solo moment; this is a band that creates together. The continuous force of Cometary Orbital Drive / Speed Guru ends the night and the band leaves the stage immediately. No begging for claps from Acid Mothers.

We challenge all artists to provide their audiences with as unique a rollercoaster as Acid Mothers Temple do. Not an experience to miss if experimental psychedelia with a sprinkling of progressive rock is your jam. Mind bending.