Given that Trichotomy cite EST, Radiohead and fellow Australian trio the Necks as among their chief inspirations, it might have been predicted that the last-mentioned band (whose modus operandi, after all, is unequivocally grounded in spontaneity and mutual interaction) would provide a model for Trichotomy live performances; in the event, however, although
their overall performance approach is a little (rhythmically) looser and more harmonically adventurous than their album sound, they stick more closely to the musical script than expected.
Beginning, appropriately enough, with drummer John Parker's 'Start', which skilfully blends elements of minimalism with vigorous, muscular jazz (Trichotomy's speciality), the trio (completed by pianist Sean Foran and bassist Pat Marchisella) thereafter interspersed pieces from their recent Naim album Variations (see CD Reviews), including a rattling set-closing version of its title-track, with other material, new and old.
A particular highlight, and a tune that encapsulated the trio's distinctive strengths, was 'Blues for the Space', written by Foran for performance in a Leeds church when he was Subscribe
a music student in the city a couple of years back.
Building slowly from a lullingly affecting simple melodic fragment, it ended with a powerful, driving climax, Parker – as he did all night – intelligently selecting precisely appropriate textures and volume from his drums and cymbals as the intensity increased.
Foran, too, is adept at utilising subtleties of dynamic variation (and the hypnotic power of repetition associated with minimalism) to build tension into Trichotomy's music, and with Marchisella alternately eloquently tuneful and vigorously propulsive, this was an absorbing performance from a band with an intriguingly original approach to music-making