Live Review: Clinic @ DC9, 9/18/13

Oh, Clinic. I've been listening to these secretive Liverpudlians for over a decade now, and am still taken in by their kooky sonic cavorting and tomfoolery. It's been many a year since my last live Clinic experience, and I'm delighted to say that even after so long, the band still puts on quite a show.

The band ascended the stage decked out in their finest medical scrubbery, which I was happy to see. At this point I'd be disappointed if the band was to eschew their long-held custom of obscuring their identities with various gimmicks. It's a move that few bands could pull off, but Clinic has always made it work for them, those wonderfully strange fruits. 

Much of the set was newer Clinic, no doubt working heavily from new record Free Reign, which I've been a bit behind on keeping up with. But throughout the whole set, their sound remained consistent and wonderfully familiar. Songs full of that driving drum beat and slightly funereal pall, the mad sonic scientists of Liverpool filled the friendly confines of DC9 with their eccentric soundscapes. Calling on a joke that many a band has uttered before them, they uttered how "it's good to be back in Philadelphia," in a rare moment of banter.

The crowd grew as the set went on, taking in the spooky, hypnotic walls of noise with enthusiasm. Even after years of listening to Clinic, I still feel completely taken in by them. The slight creepy crawly punk vibe, the throwback quirky rock, and the diabolical obscuration of identities still make Clinic a force to be reckoned with. 

[photo by Megan Petty]


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