Music to play at home – Motorama live in Sofia

photo by Svetoslav Todorov (Indioteq)

Motorama were a huge thing for me when I first heard them, probably somewhere late in 2010. I’ve had their self-titled album on repeat basically ever since it was released. Last night (Dec 13) I finally had the chance to see Motorama live and I wish I had stayed and gave the album another listen instead.

So, after I tried really hard to arrive late and miss opening band Jin Monic I managed to catch a few tracks. I was so close to saying ‘Okay, that’s not too shabby’ and they went full force on ruining some good old Joy Division. Luckily after a few rock bar muzak tracks they cleared the stage. The Motorama dudes started setting it up for what it seemed like forever. Finally they managed to start their first show in Bulgaria. The room was packed, the gig was sold out, no doubt their music did their job beforehand and a lot of us were excited to see them live.

First tracks went smooth, bass and drums were tight and kicking, Telecaster melodies were all over the place, gentle pre-programmed electronics are swimming under the live instruments. Sounds like a good start. With post-punk shows I know it usually takes a bit of time for the cold reeking from the band to spread through the whole venue, but with Motorama the music didn’t really leave the stage, it didn’t have any impact on me. The trio was performing in a sterile, almost indifferent manner and I mean not in an artistic ways. I’ve seen many introvert musicians, but this has never influenced the way their music and performance feels and unfolds live. After each track frontman Vladislav Parshin would switch guitars for bass with his mate a.k.a most bored musician I’ve seen in my entire existence. The set felt more as a struggle of the ‘Will we make it to the end of this song’ sorts rather than an act of artistic passion. Especially when some of them had to play keys. They were both taking turns at this and man, it was sloppy. Motorama, which have always been special for actually warming up post-punk played a totally cold set, which ruined their signature intimate vibe. I guess it’s not an easy task to switch from a five piece to a trio without losing something from your music. Now, if you’d excuse me, I’ll go and play myself some Утро.

Angel S.

Freelance journalist and full-time copywriter from hell. Playing ambient & drone music as Mytrip, teaching Sound Art, booking shows with For The Kids & Amek Collective. Always in for a cup of coffee.