Posts Tagged ‘Riffs’

Huddersfield garage rockers Knuckle have shared new single ‘Doom of Love’ taken from their upcoming second album Life’s a Bench, Then They Put Your Name On It. Due next month via beloved Wakefield DIY label Philophobia, the West Yorkshire DIY stalwarts follow-up to 2019’s ‘Life Is Hard When You’re Soft Inside’ will be released in February. Alongside the new single, Knuckle have shared news of a long run of dates between February and June this year, including headline shows in Leeds, Manchester, Liverpool and Sheffield.

A return to the scuzzy riffs and chaotic garage rock of their much-loved debut, ‘Doom of Love’ is a succinctly explained by singer Jonny Firth as being “a song about being scared to love somebody that’s in love with you, because you know one day you will fuck it up” and finds Knuckle at their raucous best. A slab of perfectly crafted confident and noisy rock music, Firth’s soaring vocals and a wonderfully unserious look at serious subjects.

Check the video here:

Made up of Jonny Firth, Ben Wallbanks and Rob Crisp, Knuckle have been working on their own clash of blistering intensity, massive riffs and tongue in cheek wordplay tackling issues near and dear to them for years, with hundreds of headline, supports and festival shows under their belts, the band released their debut album in 2019 to rave reviews, closing out the year with a massive headline show at Wakefield’s Warehouse 23 venue, documented by Long Division Festival.

Admitting to a slightly longer gap than anticipated between albums one and two, the trio have found life getting in the way since bursting onto the Huddersfield DIY scene. From getting married and starting families to launching t-shirt brands (Jonny Firth’s Wild West Yorkshire label) and standing on CWU picket lines (Drummer Ben Wallbanks is a postie supporting the strikes), the various members of Knuckle have poured all of this living and hard won experience into their second album – a raucous, gentle, crushing, hilarious and complex documentation of their own lives and those around them in Huddersfield.

Knuckle will be launching their new album at Wakefield’s Balne Lane Working Mens Club on Saturday 18th February.

Tour dates:

FEBRUARY

18 – Balne Lane Social Club, Wakefield

25 – The New Adelphi Club, Hull

MARCH

1 – Jacaranda Liverpool

2 – Oporto Leeds

3 – The Peer Hat, Manchester

8 – The Washington Sheffield

9 – Tom Pudding, Google

17 – The Grayston Unity, Halifax

APRIL

15 – West Riding, Dewsbury

JUNE

3rd – The Golden Lion, Todmorden

Knuckle

Knuckle – Credit: Emily Ryalls

Christopher Nosnibor

All of the good gigs are happening in November this year it seems, when traditionally things tend to be a bit quieter. Much of this is down to the knock-on effect of two years of rescheduling, not least of all with venues being booked solid with rescheduled dates till now. As scheduling goes, the fact that Please Please You has brought Part Chimp to York is a huge deal, and the turnout on a soaking wet night in the middle of a month of rain says it’s widely appreciated.

Part Chimp are one of those bands who’ve been going forever – well, twenty-two years is close enough – and have enjoyed something of a cult following. But with the release of their latest album and the shows to promote it, they seem to have enjoyed something of a surge, receiving at least some of the recognition they’ve deserved – and richly so, because they’re simply a great band.

And tonight they’re headlining a great lineup. The fact the support acts are brain-foamingly good is something I’ll get to the detail of shortly, but again, credit has to go to Joe Coates for his curation skills.

If it’s quiet in the bar before doors, it’s the only thing that is quiet about the night, and it’s remarkably busy for the arrival of the first band. While they’re local, that’s no guarantee of attendance. But they’re bloody good. Junk-It are a shouty riffy drum and guitar duo. They’re kinda straight rock but a bit Pulled Apart By Horses too, with some crazed vocals and incendiary riffs, and with some melodies spun in. Songs are tight, their chat less so. The singer looks a bit like a young Bill Bailey but sounds more often than not more Robert Plant. They’ve got good energy, and good tunes, and they work hard. It’s early days for them, so they’re a bit rough around the edges, but promising; they’re grungy, left-leaning –they’re definitely left – and deliver some exhilarating guitar-driven noise.

Junk-It

Junk-It

Uncle Bari, another duo consisting of Pak 40 / Redfyrn drummer Leo Hancill and Cat Redfern of Redfyrn, only Cat’s drumming and Leo’s on guitar, and they kick out some mega-heavy, mega-loud dark psych drums and dense guitar with vocals submerged beneath the tidal wave of riff and reverb. The sound is immersive, with slow, spacious minimalism dominating, but when they go big, they go big. With slow picked guitar and steady, rolling drums, the last track is very Earth. And at appropriate volume, it’s a remarkable experience.

Uncle Bari

Uncle Bari

The experience is a fundamental aspect of a Part Chimp show. Listening to the albums, it’s obvious that they’re a loud band, but live, they’re LOUD. I mean ear-bleeding, skull-crackingly loud. It’s not just nasty overloading volume for the sake of it, though – the riffs come through with remarkable clarity, you can make out the component parts just fine, even if the vocals are a bit buried (but no more than on the studio recordings). It’s one of the most amazingly joyful experiences, being bathed in sound in such a way, as is witnessing a bunch of older guys play in such a way that really is a masterclass for so many of the next generation to observe. They’re not overtly cool, and there’s no theatre or pretence, and the most chat we get is a ‘cheers’ here and there. It’s simply all about churning out the big, dense, grungy riffs, and sometimes they plug away at two chords for a full half minute.

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Part Chimp

The set is dominated by cuts from Drool, but there are some oldies in the mix, and they encore with ‘Trad’ from 2009’s Thriller and ‘Hello Bastards’ from second album I Am Come. Not that it really matters too much about the specifics of the songs: they’re all beefy blasting riff blowouts, and there is absolutely no letup from beginning to end. There aren’t adequate superlatives or adjectives to express the elation this elicits: sometimes, you really do have to be there.

Seattle’s Calm Collapse Release ‘Sounds God’ the next single off the forthcoming album Mirrored Nature –out November 25

Featuring a roster of indie rock nobility – Doug Lorig (Roadside Monument), Rob Smith (Traindodge, Museum of Light), Jon Pease (Medicine Bows), the album was recorded With Matt Bayles (Botch, Mastodon, Minus The Bear).

Watch the video here:

After meeting at a show in Seattle, Lorig and Smith began to build the framework for what would ultimately become the band’s debut record, Mirrored Nature. "From the early days we documented and cataloged almost every riff, song idea, arrangement, tweak, etc., iterating through so many changes to create a finalized version of these songs," says Pease, who solidified the band’s lineup shortly after its inception. "Everything that is heard on this record is extremely intentional. Not to say that we didn’t experiment or have happy accidents in the recording process. But we combed through and dissected all of our parts to craft something with intention." The sonic result is driving, angsty, and propulsive, but still open and spacious. The grind of Melvins, the melodic discernment of Chavez, and the ethereal tendencies of Grails and Black Mountain.

With so much experience and groundwork laid with previous projects, a guiding force for Calm Collapse was continuing to chart familiar waters, but in a new and fresh direction. "For me, the last couple of bands that I’ve been in have generally been more heavy than other previous projects I’ve done. But with this project, I didn’t want it to be one-dimensional," says Lorig. "It’s generally the kind of music that I’ve been writing for years. Songwriting has always been a tedious process for me. I generally write in bunches but with long lapses in between, so some of these songs or parts have been kicking around for several years — I just needed the right couple of guys to be able to finally flesh these ideas out." Smith adds, "[Doug’s] ideas are by and large more rhythmically and harmonically complex than my other bands, so sometimes he needs to just play them for a while before I can find a way in. It can be weeks of messing with an idea before it takes the shape of a song." The result of this project is a propulsive and heavy listening experience, punctuated by memorable melodies and cinematic and ambient arrangements. "Even though a lot of our album is on the heavier side, we did not want to trap ourselves in," says Lorig. "The album goes in several directions — we did not want to follow the common things that heavy bands seem to do. We all had a common goal to write songs that had movement and took us places."

In order to bring Mirrored Nature to life, the band brought in acclaimed producer Matt Bayles (Mastodon, Foxing, Isis) to help execute the vision. "We knew for our music to come across convincingly that the record had to be produced at a higher level. This is why we went with Matt Bayles. I have worked with Matt on a previous couple other projects over the years, so I knew what we were going to be getting. I can say that it definitely was not the easiest thing I’ve ever done — quite the contrast, it was probably the hardest record that I’ve done, but the end product is everything that I had hoped it would be. It sounds huge and expansive," says Lorig. "Matt definitely challenged us to a high standard during the production phase, but it paid off in a huge way," says Pease. "I think because we were so invested and prepared to craft this record, Matt stepped up to meet us there. He really put in a lot of care and detail in the recording, mixing, and production phases that makes this record sound as great as it does."

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Christopher Nosnibor

Seems like gigs at the Vaults are cursed when I go. Just as headliners Witch of the East cancelled the last time I was down, so PAK40 have had to bail due to Covid. Yep, over two years on and it’s still having a significant impact on live music. But the good news is that REDFYRN are worth turning out for, as previous outings have shown, and even prior to PAK40’s withdrawal, it had the air of a double-header.

It’s fucking melting. I mean, I’m drinking cider, it’s that mafting. And I’m sweating it out faster than I can drink it. My skin is like a sieve or muslin bag. It must be absolutely punishing on stage.

Openers Beswick get off to a bit of a ragged start. But then, it is their first gig in three years, and they’re not looking like the kind of band who get tour-tight. It would be wrong to complain about the lack of guitar definition with a black metal band, and they lean towards the lower, slower end, where everything slips into a sludgy mid-range mesh, thanks to the five-string bass and seven-string guitar and the most fuckedest cymbal I’ve seen in use in a long time.

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Beswick

The main vocalist has three distinct styles: a penetrating, shivering squawk, a low growl, and a cleanish, atonal punk snarling shout, which actually works at least half of the time as they swing towards a dingy punk style at various points during the set. They do seem like a band in a bit of a stylistic quandary as they slither hither and thither, but they’re solid entertainment. The final song is a nod to their previous incarnation as Tokechamber, and sees the set conclude with billowing drone doom chords and feedback. I would have happily watched that for an hour.

REDFYRN start as they mean to go on, bringing the riffs slow and steady, with more five-string bass groove through an immense effects rack. The bassist has bounding energy, smashing every note with fists and feet, and the weighty guitars contrast with the soaring vocals. Big brave but stoner with a bluesy twist, chunky gritty riffs.

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REDFYRN

The solos aren’t overdone, and showcase the fact Cat Redfern is an excellent guitarist on a technical level as well as being a heavy hitter. She plays with only a handful of pedals, but a lot of crunch and a big dense sound and big volume.

A big hairy moshpit happened during the last song, and the half dozen beardy guys going crackers down the front was enough to bring the band back for one more, and they encore with ‘Unreal’, to an even more vibrant response. For a hot Thursday night when people would have likely been lured to a beer garden to toast the announcement of the Prime Minister’s departure, albeit at some time in the future, and for a stand-in headline slot, REDFYRN delivered a commanding performance and owned the night. Having only recently found themselves in headline slots, REDFYRN look ready to take it to the next level.

Human Worth – 3rd June 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

Because being in several awesome bands simply isn’t enough for some people, various members of Lump Hammer, Lovely Wife, Penance Stare, Möbius, Plague Rider have another band, the soft-sounding Friend. They’re practically a scene unto themselves, and you can pretty much guarantee that anything noisy emerging from Newcastle will feature one or more of James Watts, Tim Croft, and Skylar Gill – to the extent that the involvement of any one of them is essentially an assurance of quality. Putting the stamp on that assurance is the fact that Friend’s debut is being released by Human Worth, the London label that has, in a very short time, racked up an outstanding roster of new and established acts, all of a noisy persuasion, without a single weak release in their rapidly-expanding catalogue. And Friend’s Champion is a worthy addition.

It’s a proper gnarly take on the classic power trio format with driving riffs dominating from the opening bars. ‘International Top Bloke’ crunches in and batters away hard with a simple, cyclical riff reminiscent of Blacklisters; Tim’s guitar is so dense and dirty it sounds like guitar and bass all in one, while Gil’s drumming is megalith-solid, pounding away, nothing fancy, just all the heavy. And there, low in the mix, Watts gargles and gurgles tormentedly, sounding as if he’s being throttled by Satan’s very own flaming hands. As guttural growlers go, he is exceptional when it comes to channelling all shades of anguish by means of throat alone. But for all that, there’s a flicker of joy – or, perhaps more accurately, a cathartic release – which emanates from Champion.

The pitch is that they’re ‘pulling from influences ranging from Soundgarden, Smashing Pumpkins and Failure to Old Man Gloom, Floor and The Abominable Iron Sloth’ and while on paper it may seem an incongruous combination, in practise, it not only makes sense, but absolutely works.

‘The Beast’ is appropriately titled, for it is, indeed, an absolute beast. It begins with unexpected delicacy, a brittle, chorus-tinged guitar picked is as much The Cure as it is ‘Black Hole Sun’, but then the drums and distortion pile in and it’s a huge, throbbing surge of overloading sound that threatens to damage the speakers.

Whatever Geoffrey’s done, it must be pretty bad, as they rear through five minutes of bludgeoning brutality. There are some gritty, cyclical riffs reminiscent of Bleach-era Nirvana beneath it all, but the production is so dark and dirty the end result is wonderfully nasty sludge metal, then there’s ‘Dungeon Master’ that sounds like… well, it sounds like downtuned grinding hell. Not so much Sunn O))) as a total eclipse. Watts’ vocals aren’t the focal point: they’re another instrument (of torture) in the band’s arsenal or aural abrasion. If ‘Wellness’ seems to offer some light, some respite, it’s a pale, sick sense of hope that glimmers as Watts sounds like he’s writing through his last moments of torturous, gut-ripping pain.

The last two tracks – the eight-minute ‘Uncle Tommy’ and ten-minute ‘A Reminder’ combine to deliver a devastating finale. They’re so much more than heavy noise, too, with texture, tone, gradual builds and even moments that feel truly uplifting – even if they are blown away by bulldozing distortion. The former is a surprising blues / glam stomp, while the latter feels like an album’s worth of riffs of heavy metal thunder packed into a single track. It’s not only intense, but finds Watt’s deliver some audible lyrics, albeit briefly.

The word ‘friend’ may connote comfort, company, companionship, even cuddliness, and while the band offer none of these things, Champion does offer a kind of awkward solace through monster riffery and outpourings of angst. An album worthy of its title: proper champion.

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Two albums in and London’s Grave Lines, purveyors of ‘heavy gloom’ have already carved a unique niche in the myriad spheres of heavy music. Their first album Welcome To Nothing set the tone for their distinct take on doom metal, which was broadened even further with album two Fed Into The Nihilist Engine. An epic feast of hard ‘n’ heavy riffs coupled with brooding sadness interspersed with thoughtful transcendent moments of introspection.

Never a band to rely solely on trotting out those ‘doom metal’ tropes, the band began to weave in gothic and experimental elements into their music, to delve deeper into the dark shadows of the psyche.

Now with their third album Communion Grave Lines continue their exploration into the ugliness of the human condition, at the same time becoming a band that truly defies any pigeonhole.

Continuing to hone and evolve their collective vision and aided by the masterful production of Andy Hawkins at The Nave Studios, Communion sees Grave Lines creep further into the various corners of their sound.

In a nutshell Communion is a violent descent of bile-soaked intensity spiralling between filth laden swagger, and fragile mournful lament. The album delves into the internal aloneness of existence and the failings of the human connection.

Owing as much to Bauhaus and Killing Joke as it does to Black Sabbath or Neurosis, there are moments of gut wrenching doomed up heaviness and bellowing noise rock, contrasting with ambient gothic passages and a thoughtful melancholy, to a create a powerful new chapter in their ceaseless journey through the gloom. Listen to first single ‘Carcini’ now:

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Neurot Recordings – 6th May 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

There’s something about Neurot: as a label, it certainly has a distinct ‘house style’, and if it does seem to be predominantly in the vein of Neurosis, then Ufomammut’s latest offering, Fenice,  is simultaneously definitive and a departure, in that it’s clearly metal in persuasion, and given to long, slow, and expansive workouts, with the majority of the album’s six pieces running (well) past the seven-minute mark. It’s delicately-paced, too: it’s not all a crawl, but the crescendos land a fair way apart and the build-ups are long and deliberate.

Opener ‘Duat’ is an absolute monster, clocking in past ten and a half minutes, and beginning with ominous dark ambience and slow to a crawl electronics, before a surging techno bass grind cuts through and pulses away. It’s three and a half minutes before the guitars pile in, and when they do, everything comes together to forge a piledriving industrial blast: for a moment, I’m reminded of Nine Inch Nails’ ‘March of the Pigs’, but then things switch again with a tempo change, slowing to a lumbering thud. It builds from there, and the final minute hits that sweet spot of pulverizing riffery that is pure joy. Ufomammut may be a ‘doom’ band by designation, but this is some of the most dynamic progressive metal you’ll hear.

Having set the bar so high so early, the challenge is, can they sustain it? ‘Kepherer’ is a dank, semi-ambient interlude that provides some much-needed breathing space. ‘Psychostasia’ starts off gently, but again, builds into a really slugger, the riff hard and repetitive, the vocals half-buried amidst overdrive and reverb, and it’s so, so exhilarating.

It takes an eternity of a slow, nagging cyclical motif, rich in chorus and reverb, before ‘Metamprphoenix’ breaks, and segues immediately into the throbbing behemoth that is ‘Pyramind’, where things do, finally, hit all-out doom grind with the heaviest, most crushing power chords. The bass goes so low that it practically burrows underground, while the guitars soar skyward. Closer ‘Empyros’ is the album’s shortest track, and it’s three minutes of punishing guitars that pick up precisely where ‘Pyramind’ leaves off and just drives and drives and drives, churning, hard, heavy.

If you’re seeking instant gratification, Fenice isn’t the album you want, but that doesn’t mean that it by any means feels drawn-out or like there’s much waiting involved: despite the lengthy songs, and the slow-builds, the textures and atmospheres are remarkable. I have a friend who loves his slow-burning metal and math-rock, but hates Amenra because he finds them insufferably tedious. Personally, I’m a fan, but I get the impatience, and it is largely around this kind of slow, earthy metal where time stalls and aeons pass between events, and the builds take several lifetimes to come to any kind of fruition – but this most certainly isn’t an issue for Ufomammut on Fenice. The compositions twist and turn and continue to not only hold the attention but to tug at the senses, keeping the listener on edge, poised, tense, expectant. And they always deliver on those expectations.

There is a clear and definitely trajectory here, too, building over the last three pieces to a point where the riffs are dominant – megalithic grinds that hit hard. Fenice makes you feel a broad range of things: boredom or disappointment aren’t among them. It does require some work, but it’s amply rewarded.

AA

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25th March 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

For the uninitiated, JW Paris is a band, rather than a person, and a band who’ve been described by 6Music’s Chris Hawkins as sounding like Joy Division.

It was around fifteen years ago when there was a huge buzz around emerging acts Interpol and Editors where all the hype was that they ‘sound like Joy Division’, and I rushed to check them out, and while I immediately loved both bands, my first reaction was ‘no, they don’t really.’ Yes, baritone vocals and post-punk guitars, throbbing bass… the elements were there, the influence was clear… but neither band sounded like Joy Division. But then, such is the length and darkness of the shadow cast by Joy Division, comparisons are invariably likely to build unrealistic expectations.

So I don’t expect ‘Electric Candle Light’, the fourth single from the ‘90’s grunge and Britpop inspired three-piece’ to sound like Joy Division – which is perhaps as well, because it doesn’t. But I’m not disappointed, and there’s certainly a Manchester vibe about them, despite their London base.

‘Electric Candle Light’ is a ramshackle lo-fi chunk of shaking rockabilly post-punk with a raucous lead guitar line that needles its way over a loose swaggering rhythm and has some catchy backing vocals zooming around in the mix.

‘Are you / see thru?’ Danny Collins questions, sounding more Mark E Smith than Ian Curtis, although the overall effect is a collision of The Fall and The Dandy Warhols. forging a zesty, spirited tune with bags of energy. Woohoo indeed.

JWParis _5 by c24photography

Pic by c24photpgraphy

18th February 2022

Christopher Nosnibor

So a quick scan back tells me I’ve been covering Salvation Jayne since they released ‘Burn it Down’ back in April 2017 – which actually predates their formation according to the bio on their own website. No, I’m not here to be pedantic, or explicitly to gloat about having been one of the first people to have ‘discovered’ them or whatever, but… well, there’s always a certain element of pride to know you spotted a talent, even of the talent introduced itself first.

They’ve come a long way since, and their debut album, A Mouthful Of Magnificent Spite is a very different beast from where they were back then. That said, they’re still big on attitude and choruses, only more so, and then some. You wouldn’t expect anything different from Chess Smith, who demonstrates a fierce – but friendly – drive to succeed where her musical career’s concerned. Salvation Jayne have never been hesitant about coming forward, and have sold out multiple headline shows as well as scoring notable support slots with the likes of Milk Teeth, Rews, Saint Agnes and The Subways.

That Mouthful is a proper album rather than an assemblage of tracks from previous EPs and singles – of which there is easily an album’s worth – tells us where the band is at. Forward-facing, creating, moving, and at pace. There’s a nod to ‘Burn it Down’ in the form of a fifty-second snip that acts as a bridge between ‘Diadem’ and ‘No Antidote’ (which is an instant classic, bringing together urgent and energetic drumming, chiming 80s indie guitar verses and a belting chorus with all the vocal power) but none of their previous singles make the cut here. Even 2021’s ‘Violent Silence’ is absent, and it makes sense: it’s too pop and doesn’t sit within the sequence, and it’s clear they’ve spent a long time working on making this a document of the band now. If ‘Cortez’ and ‘Coney Island, Baby!’ showed that they could do proper solid rock tunes with some chunky riffs, then A Mouthful Of Magnificent Spite realises that promise with wall-to-wall riffs.

‘Apathetic Apologies’ was perhaps an obvious choice for a lead video-single release: it’s kinda crisp and clean (although still boasts a thick bass sound) and eases the listener in with manifold layers and some nice production. It’s got big guitars and big production, and it’s overtly ‘rock’ but at the same time it’s easy on the ear and has clear radio airplay potential. Reflecting on this, for many bands, this would be an album or EP closer: it’s got anthem written all over it. So where do you go from here? Well, Salvation Jayne go into goth-tinged 80s alt-rock territory with the sultry, brooding ‘Diadem’.

They really crank up the riffage with ‘I Am Simply Not What You Thought’, a song they’ve been honing live over the last couple of years, and which has evolved substantially over that time. While the vocals remain melodic and harmonious, they’re not weedy or emo: this is full-lunged, solid rock to the core. And it’s sincere, and that sincerity imbues it with power beyond the drive of the guitars and powerhouse percussion. A Mouthful Of Magnificent Spite is brimming with passion, and you feel it .

The title track is a rollercoaster of emotion and stylistic switches, but hangs together perfectly, highlighting the band’s songwriting skills. The title track takes a turn for the heavy with some monster riffage in the last minute, and they go stoner on ‘Cody’, and they’d probably start bracing them selves for an arm-wrestle with Queens of the Stone Age before long.

‘Drink you Down’ swerves into 80s electro pop with a hint of shoegaze. It’s misty, but so, so buoyant, and the guitars take a back seat. You couldn’t say A Mouthful Of Magnificent Spite isn’t varied. It’s a fiery and exhilarating album that kicks arse from beginning to end.

AA

Artwork - Salvation Jayne

Christopher Nosnibor

It’s been a long time. An insanely long time. Apart from a brief spell where there were a handful of seated gigs on offer around August of last year, live music has been off the menu for the best – or worst – part of sixteen months, and a long, torturous sixteen months it’s been for so many of us – not least of all those whose livelihoods depend on it, but also for those of us who find comfort and catharsis in the experience, a few hours’ escape from the grind of daily life.

I haver to confess having anxietised over the prospect of attending my first live show since August 2020, since which time I’ve barely set foot in a pub or anywhere really, having been working from home since forever. Less fearful of Covid, more of social situations in general, fearful I’d lost the little social skill I had from before, I simply wasn’t sure what to expect, and the worst fear is the fear of the unknown, and this had perhaps tempered my immense excitement.

In the end, it transpired I needn’t have worried, and everything was nicely managed at the Victoria Vaults. They’ve moved the bar since I was last there, and the refit works well in making for a significantly bigger gig space and next to no bottlenecks, plus the bar staff were friendly and attentive with their table service – which was perhaps as well, because it was sweltering and needed to maintain a flow of cold cider.

Sitting just feet from a real drum kit with my shoulder against a PA stack felt great, and simply being back in that environment brought a great joy. Then there was the lineup: one of the last shows I’d seen, back in January 2020 had featured both My Wonderful Daze and Redfyrn. Both had impressed then, and given reason to come back for more. Although, of course, January 2020 feels like another life.

With King Orange having dropped off the bill without explanation, it’s a later start with Redfyrn straight on and straight in, with the power trio kicking out hefty blues-based grungy heavy rock with a sludgy/stoner vibe, driven hard by some crunchy 5-string bass. Cat Redfern’s soaring vocals are at times almost folksy, and contrast with the hefty lumbering riffs. Collectively, they’re tight, the songs textured and dynamic. There’s a lot of cymbal, but some proper heavy-hitting drum work and the sludgy sound is both steeped in 70s vintage and contemporary influence, resulting in some solid swinging grooves. The mix could have perhaps done with more guitar, but then I was sitting in front of the bass amp and about six feet from the drum kit. Closer ‘Unreal’ has bounce and grit and groove and is a solid as. The band were clearly pleased to be on stage again, and it came through in a spirited performance.

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Redfyrn

My Wonderful Daze’s singer Flowers may be feeling and looking a shade off colour but is in fine voice and all the better once she’s taken her boots off at least for a while. The band bring more big, lumbering riffs, and any concern they may have been rusty after the time out proves to be unfounded, because they’re tight – and loud. They bring all the rage early in the set, coming on more Pretty on the Inside – era Hole than Live Through This, more Solar Race than L7. It’s not long before she’s sitting down to sing because she’s dizzy, and yet still fucking belts out the angst, and despite visibly struggling throughout, it doesn’t affect things sonically: the band don’t just play on, but continue to give it their all. Watching this set really brings home just how hard bands work to do what they do. The slow-burning ‘Dust’ is something of an epic that’s emotionally rich and transitions from a gentle chime to some simmering power chords with some audience participation clapping to aid the build.

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My Wonderful Daze

They announce apologetically that they’re cutting set short to skipped to encore song Tommy for fear of fainting, but it’s a valiant effort and the right choice, although Flowers didn’t make it past the first verse before rushing from the stage. The rest of the band finish the song – and the set – with force, and all the credit to them for their consummate professionalism. Both bands did themselves truly proud, and delivered a great night, and hopefully the first of many.