The Wytches + Epicdemics + Nasty Little Lonely | Live Review & Photoset
Photos (c) Mustafa Mirreh
The crowd received their one-of-a-kind, crazy, surf-doom fix.
There couldn’t have been a better setting for this gig than the basement of The Exchange (unless someone dragged a PA system out into a ditch and put out some flattened cardboard for a stage). This long, narrow, dimly lit venue was packed out from the front of the stage to the edge of the bar with a mismatch of winter coats, leather jackets and meticulously combed hair.
Openers Nasty Little Lonely kicked off the night in front of a room full of wide-eyed audience members. By this point I had watched Nasty Little Lonely perform five times, yet I still found it hard to put my finger on exactly what they are; a terrifyingly unique sound of all their own full of unexpected twists and turns. Like Big Black having a birthday party with The Jesus Lizard… with crazy alien Banshee vocals.
A series of vocal pedals turn singer-bassist Charlie Beddoes’ voice from the sweet and innocent “Hello we’re nasty little lonely” into a benevolent, poltergeistic scream “SON OF THE FLIES”, then a Gut wrenchingly low end. A monstrous eight-string bass emphasises the unsettling feeling you’re already experiencing - trying to piece together exactly what is going on. An overwhelming ethereal sound echoed from Ben Fisher’s guitar, filling the gaps and bringing the songs up to unnerving heights. This was made all the more impressive by the lengthy amount of time he spent on the floor. Everything was held down by Arron Bennett’s from the heavens drumming, welding together seemingly impossible sections and adding industrial crashing and clanking from a series of samples. Hard hitting tracks such as ‘Lizardbrain’ and their new EP’s title track, ‘Son of the Flies’, were taken in with welcoming arms by audience.
Next up, three-piece welsh comedy trio The Epicdemics seemed to relish in the time between songs; snippets of ramblings and song introductions such as “No one’s here to have a good time, you’re all here ‘cause you’re pissed off and wanna get drunk”, “This song is about when you take too much acid and your body is taken over by spiders”, “This is a love song between me and Bernie”. Laughter was quickly interrupted by their own brand of start-stop experimental rock, billed as featuring members of Future Of The Left a similar sound is to be expected. In actuality they have a more stripped down, straight forward punk charm that is combined with Andy Falkous’s usual wordy verses and sing-along choruses. Equipped with a full crate of beer to hand out, they successfully got everyone in the front row bevved up ready for The Wytches.
The room got noticeably more crammed as streams of people pushed themselves through the crowd, dragging their mate in some sort of daisy chain of people - eager to get to the front, jump around and punch one another. The band quickly knocked out ‘Digsaw’ and ‘Burn out the Bruise’ seeing to it that the crowd received their one-of-a-kind, crazy, surf-doom fix – a blend of stylistic ‘doom’ feel and rhythm underneath, with high surf tone guitar twang and whammy covered with shouts and screams. They chucked together a set comprised of old and new material, frantic, high energy songs which flowed into the slower, mellower songs like ‘She’s so far out’ and ’Weights and Ties’. Newer songs like ‘Gravedweller’ and ‘Carnival Law’, that were pushed hard with free cassette tapes and free downloads probably due to the bands new record deal, were received well. The energy of the entire set maintained a steady high, fuelling the front rows to throw themselves into each other, contrasting with the calmness of the performance on stage – except for guitarist-singer’s Kristian Bell’s arm flailing, body contorting guitar playing.
Their closing song saw the crowd erupt into one final burst of energy - the night drew to an end. A mob of deaf, sweaty and limping gig-goers swarmed the drags of the merch table for t-shirts, EP’s and a singular book by Jay-Z, finally climbing the shoulder-width staircase, up into the cold, fresh air outside.
Needless to say, it was extremely memorable, and with Big Jeff in attendance you can guarantee it was a great gig.
Watch the video for ‘Robe For Juda’ right here: