It’s hard not to get excited when you know you’re going to a night at The Old E in Bristol. So far every experience in the Montpelier based musical safe haven has been exquisite and virtually untoppable. This particular evening was no different for me were returning to The Old E to see a jaw-dropping psych unit hailing from Portugal, otherwise known as Sunflowers.
Opening for them on this particular evening was one of Bristol’s gnarliest trios, Yo No Se. A wall rattling train journey through a rocky landscape with the carriages of psych and grunge securely fastened to the locomotive – driving down the rails of stoner metal to bring about thick textures and terrifying riffs that chugged along like a runaway diesel train. The only respites were the brief moments between the musical molasses where the wizards of the stringed instruments would speak rather highly of the drummer and his immense talent and requirement within the band. It was wonderful to see such a collectively positive response towards a drummer that is seldom seen these days.
I had acquired myself a safe standing spot atop a wooden bench at the back of the room that allowed for optimum viewing, between me and the band was a dense river of psych thirsty punters, packing themselves in common unification of music appreciation – and so it was that Yo No Se were able to control and manipulate the movements of the willing audience that violently ebbed and flowed as if someone had just turned on the wave machine.
One thing that was notable of this night was how insane the audience became with the increasing intensity of the music. We attend so many gigs at all kinds of venues and the aural inputters will stand there, near completely stationary and un-possessed by the magic that’s taking place in front of them.
But not in The Old E and certainly not this evening.
Yo No Se have managed to dip their hands into the assorted barrels of rock music, mixed in some tar and smeared it over the entire concept of music with no remorse. Grizzly tempo-tripping riffs drag you into a hazy green doldrum where your eardrums are sinisterly tickled by the course sandpaper of the vocalists gravel-gargling glottal scrape. All of this you happy consent to because being dragged away and pummelled by what is essentially a pile of noise laid out in a certain order is a great way to feel alive.
And that’s exactly how everyone felt when we reached our mid-gig half-way destination. Alive and buzzing – We had all been grabbed, shaken about and charged up with the unforgiving yet addictive energy that’s provided through the medium of psych-rock. The starter was main course worthy which meant we could skip straight to dessert with the next band on stage, we just needed a collective moment to undo our belts first!
Arbiter has taken the lead on our Sunflowers experience which you can read HERE.