THERE aren't many bands capable of replicating the sound of light rainfall and booming thunder in the space of mere seconds.

But then Japanese drummers Kodo are far from a normal band.

The powerful yet nimble musicians that make up the group have spent two years studying their craft at the Kodo Apprentice Centre on the island of Sado.

As a result of this demanding preparation schedule the drummers are in perfect sync with each other on stage. They literally never miss a beat.

It is quite evident that they live and breath Kodo – each performer is able to switch between pounding percussion and delicate drumming in the blink of an eye.

Their Brighton show was loosely based around the theory of evolution, from several "big bang"-style explosions at the start of the night to the adventures of early man later on, as symbolised by gentle flute music and the foundations of early folk songs.

One of the most impressive set pieces came just before the interval, when six young male drummers sat in a row at the front of the stage.

Through clever, intuitive interplay, they created a soundscape that seemed to mirror the first movements of Earth's first creatures, from squelching amphibious noises to a large swathe of buzzing insects.

It is testament to Kodo's great collective skill that they can pull of such ambient sounds – although the narrative of the show is ambiguous enough that it can be reinterpreted in a number of ways by the audience.

Needless to say, the physicality on display was awe-inspiring, too. When one particularly ripped performer started to rhythmically batter the skin of a huge drum, alone on stage, the impression is of a matador taking the bull by the horns – or Captain Ahab wrestling the white whale in Herman Melville's Moby Dick.

While the evening was scintillating for the most part, at other times the music was more meditative – proof that a night with Kodo offers much more than just sound and fury.