Unknown Mortal Orchestra / SWX, Bristol | 25th of May

Unknown Mortal Orchestra / SWX, Bristol | 25th of May

New Zealanders Ruban Nielson and Jake Portrait, otherwise known as Unknown Mortal Orchestra are psychedelic rock gurus who specialise in the art of melty riffs and dream like vocals mixed in with meaty guitar solos. Unknown Mortal Orchestra, or “UMOOOOO” was the crowd affectionately called them released their new album Sex & Food  in April this year to a sea of eager fans who, since the release of Multi-Love in 2015, were ready to see what the band would produce next. They did not disappoint as their Bristol gig was to prove…

The band is currently on a world tour playing ‘Primavera Sound Festival’ in Barcelona before travelling to the Netherlands and the US and so bagging tickets for the gig at SWX was a big deal for Bristolians! The guys came on stage at 8pm to a backdrop of pot plants, plush faux fur seats and a mind-altering array of coloured lighting and strobes. UMO perfectly balanced the new with the old playing Necessary Evil, Multi-Love, and a favourite of mine, Can’t Keep Checking My Phone from their last album mixed in with the gutsy track, American Guilt, and the infectiously catchy, Hunnybee from ‘Sex & Food.’ The lead guitarist Ruban soloed his way through the crowd, past the bar and back to the stage during one of the opening tracks with his gorgeous silver Rouge Sitar, oozing with showmanship he never missed a note. Unknown Mortal Orchestra closed with So Good at Being in Trouble, a beautiful track from their 2013 album ‘II’ that had everyone, from the balcony to the pits singing and swaying in unison. Bathing in the psychedelic sounds and lights it was hard to remember that we were in the centre of bustling Bristol.

It is unavoidably cliché to write that a band sound better live but in the case of UMO it is an undeniable fact.


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