Tractor Live at Rayners, Harrow, 25th July 2003
Pete Feenstra - Soundcheck Magazine
Last week I caught Nektar in London, and some wag in the audience shouted
out, "I've waited 30 years for this gig, my vinyl has all worn out".
The same circumstances almost applied in Tractor's case, save for the painstaking efforts from Ozit records, who have managed to keep the band's music in the public eye through a number of CD releases of material both old and new.
And so it was that I waited with bated breath as the duo of Steve Clayton on drums and all manner of percussion, and Jim Milne on electric and acoustic guitars, kaos pads, reverb and echo effects, took the stage as special guests of Space Ritual.net
Making light of the inevitable gap between the stage and fans at the beginning of the set, the duo cooked up one of the most stunning performances it has been my pleasure to witness for a long, long time.
If The White Stripes are purveyors of today's "cool" then Tractor are not only very cool, but also much more musically exciting. From the brusque "All End Up" to the guitar driven, dynamics of the epic "Little Girl In Yellow", Tractor were a rare delight.
Tractor moved effortlessly from a stripped down rock opening, through anthemic chord driven pieces - via some thunderous percussive beats delivered standing up by the relentless Steve Clayton - to the ethereal Eastern mantra of "Siderial".
It was on the latter that the band demonstrated just why there is still a loyal following for Tractor. The hypnotic rhythms, guitar reverb, and celestial space rock is the missing link between the early psychedelic rock and contemporary Trance and even Rave culture.
Last year saw Tractor play a great set at Glastonbury. Last Friday was more an exercise in gloriously making the link between their John Peel championed 1972 debut album, and their very contemporary muse.
And as a cascade of bubbles - refracted by some lasers, courtesy of the Glastonbury light show - lazily descended to the floor, the band eased into one final crescendo, and I was at a loss to remember what year it was!
A real natural high. But Tractor's music is still capable of doing that!