Recently Brighton's railway arch venue The Green Door Store, psychedelic outfit The Utopia Strong, featuring Kavus Torabi (Gong, Cardiacs, Knifeworld) Michael J. York (Coil, Guapo) and Steve Davis (yes, that Steve Davis, snooker legend and now music guru) performed.
Chris Black of nearby electronic duo Battery Operated Orchestra was kind enough to come along and ask questions.
For more exclusive preshow footage see our patreon.com/sonicstate
To say The Utopia Strong have a somewhat unorthodox setup would be a bit of an understatement
Steve Davis provides in his words 'the back four, to use a football analogy' using his modular setup.
There are modules in his rig that can provide a rhythmic backbone if needed, but as Steve says, they much prefer to go off-grid, and that was borne out in their performance, which was a free-flowing sonic adventure that really did soar to some amazing places.
What really struck me watching them play together, was just how apparent it was that each musician was listening intently to the others and responding - it was a joy to see.
You could also appreciate just how much they enjoyed playing music with their fellow performers.
Michael York started the show on his minimal modular setup with a couple of Moog Mother 32s, then played a range of pipes and esoteric wind instruments, before ending the show playing bells and mini cymbals with Kavus, who had also been singing, playing harmonium, and guitar throughout the show.
It's hard to describe their music - but if they ever come nearby I will definitely see them again, I thought it was pretty magical - and judging from the audience applause at the end of the show, I'm not the only one.
The Utopia Strong on Bandcamp: https://theutopiastrong.bandcamp.com/album/the-utopia-strong
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