It’s not often that I attend a gig alone, certainly not gigs that you know are going to exceptionally loud and raucous, but when I bought my ticket I figured I’d probably see someone I knew there and it would all be okay.
I had first discovered Weedeater by accident during one of many Youtube explorations into the unknown, ‘I like this’ thought I, much like Gregg Wallace as I discovered more and more of their records. It then became clear that they’re well known in the stoner, sludgy brown sound world of music which happens to be one of my favourite places to reside you. In the murky swamp of down-tuned instruments surrounded by a thick green haze and slumped up buddies with slits for eyes, contemplating everything and nothing at the same time… delicious.
So, ticketed up and as baked as any dessert on a Sunday at my Nan’s house I ventured off, like I have many many times before into the great musical unknown, albeit alone.
It was a four band night but due to the aforementioned stonededness I completely missed the first act but I did manage to arrive just in time for Lacertillia. A new band to me so I had the joy of experience them with total ear-blindedness and holy fuck what a show they put on. The room was pumping and sweating in a synchronised fashion to the shaggy-haired singer who was moving faster than my eyes could calculate. They were an unrelenting battering ram of psychedelic thunder, basically you opened the door and let them in or they were breaking through, simple as that.
I was standing on the little raised bit where the booths are located so that I could see over the crowd and protect my weak and spasticated body from the throng of long haired, darkly dressed doom lovers who created a seemingly impenetrable wall between me (safe) and the band (dangerous). I was wrong, no sooner had I pondered my own safety had the front-man locked eyes with me and I guess decided ‘he’s too safe’ because the next thing I new, the safety wall of r0ckers parted and the singer was marching up to me with determination, he was then mere inches from my face injecting the words to the song with such severity into my body that I thought I was going to burst into tears, or explode, or both.
He then proceeded to role back across the floor, through the crowd back to his domain, having left me weak and afraid, succumbing to the hold of the music and energy within the room. Fuck yes.
If dragons are real in Wales it’s these guys, these guys are the dragons. I never knew they existed until this night but yup, they do and they’re a force NOT to be reckoned with. Fan or not (and we is), they’ll eat you up regardless. Bandcamp; here.
The second ear-blind musical venture for me of this evening was ASG What a kick ass band… there were elements of deliciously raw prog, like, a pinch of Caress of Steel with the conjuring of images like brave warriors, mountains and quests, but at the same time they made me think of getting stoned and going to an arcade, and I was thinking of nineties pop culture references and VHS players… which in turn made me think of Regular Show. And so for me, as they performed these great quest-going megaballads of psychedelic, progeological and mega-rocking rockery I was taken on a journey (at one point on a giant bird type thing) over an immense kingdom of arcades, little thatched villages, kings, queens and magic and I’ve concluded that that must be what North Carolina looks like.
The Winusover album is a cacophony of sharp guitar over marching drums that conjure images of great war zones of mystical creatures battling it out for good and evil with the war cries and narratives of this incredible unwinding tapestry of musical story telling beautifully sung or awingly screamed by Jason Shi.
So, if like me you love the brown, boognish sounds of st0ner rock at it’s finest – you need to check these guys out. And if you know about them then you should feel bad for not telling me sooner! Bandcamp; here
Also hailing from North Carolina which I am starting to suspect is the birth place, or at least spawn point or incubation chamber for all great stoner bands is Weedeater the legends of their genre. The first track I ever heard was ‘Alone’ which was insanely misleading but by this point I was far more versed in their music which is so low down doomy dirge that it’s the musical underlay to the carpet of convention. I half expected Dave Collins to release a small pig into the crowd because as soon as they showed up I knew that we would be going on a hootenanny and hootenanny we surely went on.
As they kicked into action with their incredible ability to make every instrument including drums AND voices growl (something I thought unpossible) I felt the notion that what we needed was some bales of hay and a few bongs. It didn’t help that there was a glorious smell of cannabis emanating around me (that later transpired to BE me, escaping my pores via sweat) I considered licking myself but thought better of it.
Dave Collins moves around like a man possessed which in a way I like to think that he is at the time, his raw, throaty bellows, refined by years of Jim Bean consumption are the dark lullabies you only want to hear in this context. His thumbs which I imagine to be like densely packed wire wool from years of plucking bass strings danced across those thick strings, plunging us into the doldrums with riffs as gloomy as a haunted forest and a tempo that of whomever is attempting to escape the haunted forest.
But the crowd loved being in the forest, they loved being doused with whiskey, they loved the surrealistic jesterisations of Dave Collins dancing around, like the Pied Piper leading us down the foggy rabbit hole into another world, a safe world of substance abuse and never ending tinitus. This is where we wanted to go and that’s where we went and it was delicious. Website; here