As a new band, first impressions are everything, but when you’re an eight piece mega-group with only one live show under your belt, the odds are against you. Thankfully for Superorganism, the few tracks they’ve shared are genuine ear worms, enticing 700 bodies to fill Village Underground’s warehouse for their debut UK show.
Within thirty seconds it’s unlike anything else. Seven of the band enter the stage donning bright hooded rain macs and jingling bells while eighth member, B., the audio-visuals from the back of the room, flashing up images of cells, space and sea creatures. As opening track ‘It’s All Good’ kicks in, hoods are thrown down and any hesitation they may not be able to replicate their songs live is instantly nullified by three backing singers who intensely recreate every sound effect as if it were their last breath. Eyes are drawn to the trio throughout, particularly Saul who gyrates enthusiastically throughout, encompassing all that is bonkers about Superorganism.
Perhaps the most striking of the octet is tiny lead singer, Orono, a 17-year-old Japanese student, dressed in baseball cap, tie dye shirt and jeans – a look that says lost kid on a school trip rather than fronting a band, but she remains unfazed as she takes her place behind a keyboard for ‘Nobody Cares’ – another previously heard cut from the band. Then the real fun begins; space transmission footage is projected during Gorillaz-esque intergalactic frenzy ‘Night Time’, frogs spit out baseballs in Japanese influenced ‘Nai’s March’ and neon coloured prawns drive around in edgy nursery rhyme track ‘The Prawn Song’.
Amongst the complexity of different sounds, lyrics remain basic, with chants of: “Everybody wants to be a Superorganism” as if to brainwash others into this world they’ve created. It’s clear they’re a band solely focused on their art rather than a musician’s lifestyle, best demonstrated in preachy sing-a-long ‘Everybody Wants To Be Famous’ which ends with Orono sticking her middle finger up as ‘Game Over’ signs flash across the screens. The band leave stage briefly only to return for glitchy single, ‘Something For Your M.I.N.D’, which crunches bigger than ever. Orono points the mic into the crowd for the first time, a sign that they’ve completely bought into the past half hour. This was always going to be a test for Superorganism, a band who until this year had relied on the e-mail chains to make their music, but it’s one that’s led to one of the most stimulating live shows around.