A few Kid Shirt old timers might remember
that I'm kinda partial
to the band Hey Colossus
whose album "Happy Birthday
" LP on RiotSeason
tickled my verrucas last year. So when Spike suggested we go and see them play in Bristol I jumped at the chance.
But - fuck me gentle with an egg-timer - I turn up at The Croft and bump into an old friend Tim Farthing
(ex-Gutless, PJ Harvey Band, amongst others), only to find he's now a member of HC (along with a guy called Joe who lives in Street - another Somerset refugee). I can't remember the last time I saw Tim - it must've been some time this decade, I guess; even tho he only lives about 10 miles from me our paths don't ever cross. He was in a band with my old much-missed pal Dave Goldsworthy for a while, tho their name escapes me. Small world/weird coincidence.
Anyway - with or without Tim - Hey Colossus were every bit great as I hoped they'd be: a six-piece - two gtrs, bass, drums, a pedal-meddlin' howler/shrieker and a Kaoss-Pad manipulator. They were blinkin' loud and intense as fuck. Frequency shards were dancing like fuck-dust in the air above the stage. But I ain't complainin'.
Started with a barrage of pedal-noise that morphed into a stacatto stop-start up/down jerky dirty Motorik-Boogie marathon that sounded like a Tourette-afflicted version of Status Quo. Mucho Heavy Doom-Noise shape-throwing ensued w/ front-guy seeming to lick or, erm, snort
his own pedals for some reason, his face flat against a table like he was hoovering up bathroom-brewed Boss Pedal Noise-Crank. There was also a bunch of bananas present for some unknown reason; possibly in case band-members got low on potassium or something, which looked scarily feasible at points.
Yeah, well, so I was def. hearing a Boogie influence at points - tho a form of Deconstructed Boogie, a Boogie Mangle of Malignant Ill-Repute
. This was Boogie Gone Bad. V. Evil Boogie put thru a mincemeat machine, dissected and reassembled into some new patchwork Post-Boogie form - Not-Quite Metal, Not-Quite Noise - there was some vague, skewed ancestral Rock n Roll soundform still present in amongst the Doom Drops and the skull-splitting pedalwankery: a skeleton faintly visible underneath all the shredded meat. A one point something that sounded like some distended, stretched-out mockery of a T. Rex riff put in an appearance before it was revv'd up n warped out of recognition. Also some great moments where the music seemed to lift itself on top of itself - accreting layers and creating a sense that it was moving upwards
towards something - like some of Circle's best work, but a lot more distorted. They sounded like they'd been influenced by UFO circa 1971 rather than Black Sabbaff.
I was completely deaf afterwards, but didn't care. They were great and I recommend you catch 'em live soon as you're able. There's a new album on Riot Season due to drop any second.
Bristol band Tractor
were next up and I spent a few minutes trying to wrap my head around them: they were kinda, ummm... Post Punk-ish; y'know - springy bass, tight/minimalistic machine-like rhythms, shouty vocal interjections. Good drummer, I reckon. I kept trying to think who they reminded me of...but my reference points were all typical Old Bloke Stuff: I kept thinking of the rhythm-sections of, Oh I dunno, Basement 5, Killing Joke, Section 25...but, no, no, no: none of those...they were faster, different
...filtered through a late 80s/early 90s sensibility. No, I can't quite put my finger on it. I asked Spike and he said they sounded like Tractor. Oh, alright then.
Slightly, errm, 'Punky' in places - very tight n repetitive. S'funny, this sort of music isn't usually my bag (I lived thru all this the first time round) tho lately I've found myself warming to some o'this stuff, tho I'm not sure why. I also started warming to Tractor a bit after a few minutes, but tbh Hey Colossus had pretty much spoiled me for the evening, so unless you were gonna roll out Shit and Shine
to follow 'em or something....Part Chimp
were okayish, I thought - on the plus side: very tight - I liked the Doom Metal moves, but the vocals really didn't work for me. The vocalist's voice was much better suited for the higher tempo, more 'punkier'-sounding material, wh/ I, uh, didn't really much like. The slothful Doom Drops n instrumental passages were okay, but mostly it wasn't ruff enuff for me, tho the audience seemed to be shaking down to it. It was a bit too clean
. Too mannered. I found myself drifting off and losing interest whenever the vocals came back in. In the end I went for an extended cigarette break and then forgot to come back.