Omar Rodríguez-López Group @ Stereo, 30 September

Live Review by Rosie Davies | 08 Oct 2012

The Omar Rodríguez-López Group is a chimera, not a band – a catch-all name to encompass an ever-changing line-up expounding Omar’s searing experimental energy. As such, it's a revelation to some in the crowd that they're actually witnessing one of the first shows of a brand new group called Bosnian Rainbows about two thirds of the way through the show when Omar thanks everyone for turning up  – “whether you’re into it or not.” If he's genuinely concerned about fleeting attention spans, he needn’t be tonight; discarding the theatrical statement-dressing of Le Butcherettes in favour of a plain black t-shirt and jeans, frontwoman Teri Gender Bender’s presence is electric.

From the moment Omar’s guitar pierces the air, fluid and sharp over a low, menacing bass note, the two figures seem united in their own separate freak shows – her, morphing from juddering epileptic to narcotic siren to bubbling imbecile in a sequence of nightmarish spontaneity; him, a pillar of jerky angularity, circling on the spot as if controlled by the neck of the guitar he cradles. Storming through a cool hour of tight instrumentation and reined-in tracks sweetened by Teri’s commanding vocals and a surprising accessibility, the crowd’s vocal enthusiasm suggests that they really didn’t need to be thanked for their patience.