Larsen with “Little” Annie, Vienna Rhiz, 10 September 2012

I was very much looking forward to seeing Italian post-rock outfit Larsen in the intimate confines of the Rhiz. Their 2005 album Play was a work of considerable imaginative power, while I had very much enjoyed their set at the 2007 Donaufestival weekend curated by David Tibet. So there was every reason to expect another evening of engrossing instrumental music. Unfortunately, however, the group had brought along their occasional collaborator “Little” Annie Anxiety as guest vocalist. Larsen themselves were superb, especially in the way their multilayered compositions began with the merest hint of anticipation and gradually developed into brilliant, controlled explosions of noise. Sadly, though, I found “Little” Annie’s vocal contributions to be dullsville and her stage presence irritatingly shambolic.