Background: Since emerging onto the prog scene in 2012, virtuoso guitarist ‘Plini’ has been gaining more and more traction whilst releasing a consistent stream of superb music ranging from soothing jazz guitar to much more eclectic heavy rock. Following the release of his latest EP ‘Sunhead’ the Australian has embarked on an extensive tour across Europe with only one UK headline show.
Islington Assembly - 19/08/2018:
Having freshly arrived back to the nations capitol after this years Arctangent festival, Spirit Level find ourselves with a newfound love for prog music and a whole roster of new artists to delve into. One artist that we didn’t see this weekend due to an unfortunate clash with the demonic ‘Møl’ was ‘Plini’ so we are more than happy to jump straight onto the tube and make our way to Islington just in time for ‘Jakub Zytecki’ to take to the stage. Demonstrating a phenomenal command over the fretboard, Zytecki eases us in with a wondrous opening set of relaxing yet startlingly proficient guitar work aided by some soothing backing vocals.
Having set the stage and warmed our hearts, ‘Toska’ take the stage for main support. Less than twenty-four hours ago, we were watching ‘Toska’ for the first time in Fernhill Farm and described them as demonstrating “a level of quality far beyond their years.” Suffice to say that yesterdays Arctangent performance felt like a warmup in comparison to the show that ‘Toska’ put on tonight. Though only having time to perform four songs, the Brighton trio win over the hearts and minds of everyone present and leave us chomping at the bit for the upcoming debut LP. Where ‘Zytecki’ played the softer side of prog, ‘Toska’ blast us in the face with a hard and heavy contrast of razor sharp riffs and fuzzed up bass guitar tones. For general fans of heavier music, we are in our absolute element here and could easily watch another hour of ‘Toska’ jamming.
The last time that ‘Plini’ played in London was roughly a year ago at The Borderline and it is a testament to his success that he has been able to progress to the significantly larger Islington Assembly; a fact that he is all to eager to point out during one of his many heartfelt interludes with the audience. Tonight may be a celebration of ‘Plini’ and his musical achievements, but the Australian guitarist transforms the evening into a celebration of music and music lovers all across the spectrum as he welcomes guest pianists and saxophonists to stage and jokes regularly with the crowd. ‘Jakub Zytecki’ is back on stage accompanying ‘Plini’ on guitar with many more opportunities to show off his own musical prowess and together the two are unstoppable as they play a widely varied set ranging from riff heavy rock all the way to a free form jazz outro. Spirit Level may be relatively new to the world of prog, but we can spot talent when we see it and ‘Plini’ stands out like ‘Joe Satriani’ and the many other guitar greats as a real treasure to behold. With another selection of UK dates scheduled for the end of the year supporting ‘Tesseract’, we doubt that this is the last that we will be seeing of ‘Plini’ in 2018.
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