The first SOFT RIOT show of 2020 was in Glasgow at Ivory Blacks supporting Linea Aspera along with Witch Of The Vale. Local music writer Anni Payne has penned this great review of the show for the online publication Brutal Resonance:
First to take to Ivory Blacks’ stage with his trademark 80s fashion sense and the hair to match is synth artist JJD, AKA Jack Duckworth. Originally a member of the Canadian post-punk band Radio Berlin in the late 90s/early noughties, he’s since carried on making experimental and cinematic synthpop with a dark, disco twist under the name Soft Riot. If you’ve ever listened to his solo work you’ll know that it’s the definition of quirky, and the same goes for his recently released seventh album When Push Comes To Shove – whereas ‘Taking Off the Edge’ automatically gets you moving with its new wave groove, ‘It’s No Laughing Matter’ hints at the way Jack uses clichés like an inside joke while making satire out of themes like anxiety and paranoia.
Thankfully my personal favourite songs from the new album make it onto the setlist too. Initially describing the boredom of rain coupled with social isolation, ‘The Lost Weekend’ ends up positively bursting with life as the line “Just let me buzz you in” becomes an invitation to enjoy yourself; ‘Don’t Get Yourself Bent Out of Shape’ meanwhile produces the same psychedelic effect as Soft Riot’s music videos as futuristic synths make you feel as though you’re drifting through time and space. Some of the finer details do occasionally get lost in the mix due to certain synth sections lacking volume, but most of us are too distracted by Jack’s deranged dance moves and head-banging to notice anyway. There’s an inherent joy to all Soft Riot shows in that respect – seeing him continuously tweak away at his setup is like a watching a mad scientist tinkering away in his lab, giddy with his own genius.
Photo by Barry Douglas/Room 213.