It’s a dark and rainy night heading over the hills into Bradford, a place I’ve never before visited, I’m always excited to go visit new venues and cities.
So we arrive at the venue, well we think so, all we knew was that it’s in the basement of an old swimming pool…horror movie plot anyone?
Anyway, eventually we’re parked and after finding the venue and making our way inside, what I find is a tiny little alternative club hidden down stairs next to a shiny Wetherspoons. It’s always a plus when you can destroy your liver at a venue without having to sell another organ or take out a mortgage. At the princely sum of £2 for a pint you can’t go far wrong.
So first up tonight is Pigwitch a band that I must admit aren’t familiar to me at all. I do try and listen to all support bands before a gig but sometimes it just doesn’t happen. What did happen on the other hand isn’t what I was expecting. I WAS expecting a shrieking doom slathered sludge attack. Which isn’t what happened at all. Instead I got bluesy, riff soaked rock and roll. Impressed I was, the band delivered a spectacular performance in their allotted 30 minutes including my new favourite track Skies! Off the band pop and I head back to the bar. Well until I have to go on an adventure!
I say adventure, I take Alunah singer Soph Day next door to Wetherspoons for a quiet chat about the new album, getting signed and public masturbation. This was definitely worth missing the first part of the set by second band Monolith Cult whom in the brief time I get to see them put on quite the performance. Heavy Sabbath-esque riffery with heaps of character and bags of fun. Despite my experience of this band being short, I definitely appreciated the performance I saw.
Onwards to Space Witch, this bunch of misfits hailing from the pottery capital of the UK that is Stoke On Trent creep onto the stage and throw down a 40 minute barrage of instrumental doom. These guys are definitely a band that have to be seen to be thoroughly experienced as their recorded material is not quite as good as the sludgy brilliance that this 5 piece deliver in a live setting. Otherworldly electronics go hand in hand with thundering bass tones and slowly sweeping riffs. Throughout this set you’re taken on an adventure around the galaxy, to a planet no-where near rainy Bradford. This trippy adventure continues to it’s conclusion as the band depart the stage.
Up to finish the evening are Birmingham psych rockers Alunah, recently signed to Napalm Records. These chaps and lady are set to make waves, Bradford is the first in a few UK stops scheduled for the band. Go see them!
Playing through a mixture of old songs and new the band set free their riffs like some musical game of hot potato. Off they fly, it’s the vocals of Soph Day that make this band so exciting to me, whilst coming across as naturally classic they also have an air of freshness to them that many psych bands could do with taking note of. Cuts from their most recent release White Hoarhound go over well with the crowd who by this point fill the tiny club to it’s brim. I’m not gonna lie, I can’t wait for these guys’ new album. I have a feeling it’ll make it to my top 10 of 2014. So bring it on!
Bringing their set to a close, I wander off, have a look at the merch, pick up a patch and 195/250 of Alunah’s new split single with drone masters Queen Elephantine and off we go, back into the rain to head back to Middle Earth, for tonight I’d be spending the night in a hobbit hole. Which when finishing the night off with tea, toast and Pink Floyd you can’t go for wrong at all.