It's an art thing. Those sweeping crescendos, that am-dram posturing, the studied art-school cool.

As Mercury Rev, dressed to a man in tight black T's and jeans, took to the stage, the audience (mostly students and graphic designers) was bathed in a blaze of orange light.

Cymbals crashed, organs hammered out dramatic chords and guitars raged as an almost symphonic clatter of sound burst from these six wiry Americans.

In a two-hour set, the band ploughed through most of the material from their two latest LPs, All Is Dream and the multi-award winning Deserters' Songs, as well as delving back to re-visit tunes from their astonishing debut, Yerself Is Steam.

The sound? Well, it's like Neil Young fronting the Velvet Underground, playing the backing track to the greatest film Fritz Lang never made.

Like I said, it's an art thing.