London collective Archive debuted their latest work Axiom live at the Roundhouse in Camden on May 29, 2014. Presented at the 2014 London Sundance Festival, Axiom is an Orwellian 40-minute short film/concept album about “control, and trying to escape the all controlling god that control us all” (in the words of band leader Dave Pen). The film – something half way between V For Vendetta and 1984 – was shown in its full length on the big screen behind the stage while the soundtrack was being played live, giving Archive the freedom to unleash the powerfulness of their musical opulence.
Quite far from their trip-hop style (but still with a massive presence of electronics), with their live rendition of Axiom the band delivered a neat performance that was musically overwhelming and emotionally compelling. As ambitious as it may seem – as the whole Axiom project – the idea of playing the full album live turned out to be the best they could come up with as, even though Axiom is a good album, it honestly sounds much better live than on CD.
After the first 40 minutes totally immersed and submerged into the gloomy atmosphere of Axiom, the second part of the show saw Archive playing a selection of their greatest hits, starting with the classic Pills, which gave the band’s wide fan base attending the show a liberating trip hop moment they had been waiting for a while.
Overall it was the captivating show of a band that never chases to entertain, surprise and explore new territories, constantly stimulating thoughts of independence and rebellion.
Complete Set List:
Distorted Angels (Live Debut)
Axiom (Live Debut)
Baptism (Live Debut)
Transmission Data Terminate (Live Debut)
The Noise of Flames Crashing (Live Debut)
Shiver (Live Debut)
Axiom (Reprise) (Live Debut)
Build and Construct
Finding It So Hard
Again (Short Version)
You Make Me Feel