GHUM: Fac251, Manchester 18th November 2022.

There are bands that you could watch live countless times, and you’ll never ever get sick of seeing them. Last night was only my second time seeing GHUM, and I think it was their second time playing Manchester (I might be wrong there, sorry if I am!) They played the legendary venue that is FAC251, and I can safely say that no other venue in town could have suited them more (maybe Soup Kitchen.)

GHUM’s debut record, Bitter came out in June this year and not a day goes by where I’m not playing it. It’s a perfect record, and a stunning debut. How does their live show favour? Exactly the same! GHUM are a band that you just have to see live. Their music was made to be witnessed in a live setting; especially in dark basement venues.

Although their set was cut short slightly- it did not change how amazing the gig was. Every single song was performed in a way that made to be heard in this setting. A small, intimate venue. Even if someone was being a bit overzealous with the smoke machine with the first few songs! Honestly, GHUM are a band that you know will keep getting better and better with whatever they do and whatever sound they have. Songs like California and Some People rip right through, Perro is electrifying live. Deceiver and Bitter was out of this world. Bad Brain is played with this fire and urgency that sticks with you well after the show is over. The whole set is an exploration of how and why they are one of the most exciting bands around. You cannot compare their live shows to anything else- it goes way beyond anything else you may feel from hearing them on record. They create this world that you just want to live in. This dark yet comforting world.

There’s this energy they all have that just lures you in, and every song they hit you with makes you feel like you are listening to them for the first time. For me they have got that same presence as the likes of TwoFiftyFour, Crows, L.A. Witch and Warpaint (basically just named bands I love and adore but y’know!) They make you wish you had even a tiny fraction of musical talent. GHUM are the best at what they do, and if you ever get the chance to see them live- you have GOT to take it. They make it seem so effortless. I mean Jojo is one of the greatest guitarists I’ve ever seen, Vicki is one of those drummers that just leave you in awe and Marina is such a slick bassist. Laura’s vocals will stay with you- she’s got this gentle tone but when she delivers songs like 1000 Men; there’s this beautiful growl to it that just stuns you.

Like I said, this band are the best at what they do. Nothing and no one comes close. The venue may not have been totally sold out but that didn’t matter at all- they made you feel like it was just you and them. Nothing around you mattered. There was an older couple near me, and they were dancing and moving in ways that most of us could dream of. For me, they summed up the euphoria that live music gives you and that GHUM gives you.

There are bands that you discover over time that become a massive part of you. You look at your record collection, and you wonder what it’d be like if you never heard them. There’d be a gap for this band, but you’ve yet to find them. I hope that anyone who ever listens to GHUM or discovers them for the first time feels like they’ve found the missing piece to their music jigsaw. I’ve not been to many gigs this year, but I can definitely place last night’s show up there with one of the best. Compared to their show in Manchester from 2019, you can definitely see and hear the growth in confidence.

GHUM are an absolute joy to listen to and when you see them live, that joy quickly turns to euphoria. The kind of band that makes you want to disregard your daily responsibilities and just follow them on tour. Hopefully it won’t be 3 years before they next come back to Manchester, but it was most certainly worth the wait!

GRAVE GOODS: Tuesday. Nothing Exists.

This record came out just over a month ago, and I had something written in my drafts. Looked over it, and deleted it. How I felt about the record then and how I feel about it now is different. Not by much, but there’s a difference. This isn’t a bad thing; I’ve had the record on repeat and can safely say that it’s up there as being one of the most flawless and interesting records of the year. It’s everything you love about music, and more.

If you’ve never listened to Grave Goods before, then you are in for a treat with this record. Grave Goods are made up of members from three bands that I’m a huge fan of: PINS, Girls Names and September Girls. If you mix up their sound and influences, and style- then you’ve clearly got a perfect band haven’t you. This is such a fantastic record from that slick sounds to the way the vocals are delivered. It’s got so much excitement to it; there’s this pure thrill you get from every listen because every single listen feels like you are being exposed to something new every single time. I reckon the ideal setting to listen to this record is on the top deck of a double decker bus, in the pissing rain and watching the world go by.

These seven songs are powerful, and songs like Story are a perfect listen on a grey and rainy day in Manchester. The whole record is a huge comfort, and with just seven songs the band completely and utterly show you what they are made of. The songs are digs are what society expects, thoughts, feelings and unspoken narratives. It’s just a phenomenal record, and I honestly feel like it’s a record that just needs to be heard. There’s an urgency to this record that just gives you a kick up the arse.

Listening to this record full whack through headphones or in your room is such a great sensation. You can’t help but take in the lyrics- Miles is a perfect example of this. The storytelling on this is just divine; it’s dark and humorous. The whole record has a dark sound but the lyrics/vocals add this gentleness. It works so well. It’s a heavy record, but it’s done in such a way that leaves you in awe. That’s all there is to it really.

The record ends with Die, and although it’s probably a morbid title for some- it’s a bloody lively song. The last minute of this song is euphoric and it just makes you start the record all over again. That’s when you know you’ve found a record that’ll you keep going back to over and over. You’ll use it as a reference. You’ll compare everything you now hear to this. Every song on the record fits perfectly. They sound as if they are made for this moment and whatever Grave Goods create next will be another masterpiece like this. You just know don’t you, when you listen to a band, and you know that regardless of how much music they put out, it’ll always be mind-blowing. They evidently a band that could never ever make a shit record. They’ve got this ideal sound that I just want to constantly hear. I bloody love this record.

Tuesday. Nothing Exists. Not only is the title of the record great, but you know how Tuesdays are probably the most boring day of the week? This record adds excitement. Play this record every Tuesday on repeat to add some spice to your life. It’ll make waking up less exhausting.

THE VACANT LOTS: Closure.

There are a handful of bands that, no matter what they release or however it sounds- I’ll always write about it. I may or may not instantly love it, but I’ll find the words to write about why I love the band. A band in particular that always stand out for me and just mean the world are The Vacant Lots. I absolutely adore this band and have done for what seems like an eternity. I feel like they are a band I’ve grown up with and just ended up loving them more and more with each record. They’re a band I could happily watch live forever, and not get bored of it. They take elements of everything I adore about music and make their own sound. It’s everything I love about bands such as Suicide, The Jesus And Mary Chain and a Henry Miller novel. Highly poetic, dark and gripping.

It’s no surprise that record number four, Closure, is a masterpiece. All they do is churn out genius works of art every single time. I’m in awe of the sheer talent that Jared and Brian have. Just the two of them. The two of them make these gorgeous sounds. Closure is everything their previous three records have been leading up to. If you’ve listened to them before, you’ll be familiar with this dark and hypnotic sound they have but on Closure they go a little lighter on the song Eyes Closed. It’s a synth-based lullaby. It’s gorgeous. Sound wise- this record isn’t as heavy as previous, but don’t let that fool you. The lightness on this record may be something slightly new, but that typical sound from Jared and Brian is still there. It’ll always be there.

Their previous work at times felt like you were stumbling out of a New York dive bar at 2am in the cold. This one feels like you’ve let that fresh Autumn air hit you in the face and you feel like you can possibly take on anything. That’s the powerful thing about music and bands you love- they can be your armor and guide. For me, Closure is one of the most enthralling records of the year. It’s chaotic and calm in all the right places. It’s just everything you could possibly want from a band you love.

The only downside to the record is that it lasts only 23 minutes but, these 8 songs will blow your mind. They’ll caress your eardrums. They’ll hit you right in the heart and soul. They’ve totally outdone themselves again, and I cannot wait for the tour in a few months. These songs live will be something else. Hearing the likes of Eyes Closed or Chase live will be insane! I cannot wait.

With a record like this, it’s hard to pick a favourite. I’ll end up changing my mind a lot but at the moment I think it has to be Red Desert that’s my number one. It reminds me of Darklands by The Jesus And Mary Chain. There’s this delicate sound on this song that reminds me so much of that whole record. It’s a joy to listen to, and it builds up perfectly the ending of the record. In just over 20 minutes, The Vacant Lots truly grip you on this record. If this is your first time listening to them; well, it’s not a bad place to start at all.

As the record comes to a gentle close with Burning Bridges, you cannot help but reflect on how remarkable the record is. Everything about the record is joyful and personal. From the lyrics to the production to the sounds and all in that is in between- Jared and Brian have yet again created something that us fans of the band will treasure for eternity.

With every record they just get better, and Closure fully backs that up. A real joy to listen to and an even bigger joy to be a fan of such an incredible band.

THE BATTERY FARM: A Working Class Lad.

I have made my love for one of the finest bands from Manchester known many times. But this time, The Battery Farm have completely and utterly outdone themselves. Everything they have done to date has been nothing short of vital, ferocious, and delivered with this passion that you wish most bands would. A Working Class Lad towers above everything they have done to date. This is the kind of song that makes you want to pin down tory scum and blast this song in their ears. Imagine if they would listen. Imagine…. But until then, we have got bands like The Battery Farm who are beautifully expressing how difficult life is and how shit it’s going to get until people listen to us. There’s beauty in it all, and that is what they express so wonderfully.

The hook where Ben screams his lungs out is such a pivotal moment in the song, and every time he unleashes that distinctive bellow of his, you cannot help but scream back and let his voice absolutely destroy your eardrums in the most perfect way. It is one of the best songs he’s written so far. The man is a poet. A proper storyteller. This is song for those who understand how tough everything is right now and how the majority of us are struggling. The comradery in this song makes me so proud to call Manchester my home.

The bassline on this, mixed with THAT drumming is out of this world. The guitar is electrifying, and it adds extra bite to the vocals, and drills home the importance of the lyrics. Bands like The Battery Farm are rare, and that’s why it is SO important that we treasure them. They tell our stories; they release our furies. They’ve got courage, heart, and passion. They’ve got the wisdom that you wish you had, but in time, you’ll get there. If you’re looking for a real Punk anthem- this is it. This is totally it. It’s the song that you play when the world gets a little too much, and as soon as this kicks in- you’re reminded that someone out there fucking understands. This band are way ahead of their time. Or maybe we are all behind and need to catch up. Whichever way you look at it, this band are the future.

What I adore about the band is how they can take painful daily life topics and make them beautiful. They make everything relatable, and you know they mean every single word that comes out of their mouths. Their words are so important, and I don’t say this lightly. There is so much power in this song and it is really is the best thing they’ve done to date. Their debut record Flies is out in November, and I cannot wait to hear it. Going by the previous 8 singles they’ve released and now this single- I think it is pretty safe to say that it is going to be one of the most thrilling records of the year. Nothing will touch it. Nothing will come close to the sheer importance of it.

There is so much heart in this song, and the way every ounce of this anthem hits your mind, body and soul leaves you wanting more. You cannot help but play this on repeat. You cannot help but scream along. Thank god we have bands like The Battery Farm around. They unleash every feeling surrounding identity and the shame we sometimes feel. Sometimes that shame is thrown onto us from others, so we turn that shame into something that means something- Art. That’s what The Battery Farm have done here, and will always do. It’s in their blood. We need them.

They’re playing the Dublin Castle in London on the 2nd September and will then be back home to tear the roof off Gullivers on the 10th September. Go see them. Buy the record in November and let this band get out everything you feel you cannot.

You can check out their upcoming gigs here: https://www.facebook.com/thebatteryfarm/events

MAD DADDY: The Road Racer EP

The exceptional new EP by Mad Daddy has been on my list of write-ups for ages, but I’m rubbish at keeping up with what I need to do. I’d rather take a nap but that’s no excuse! I’m going to use my words wisely and tell you all about one of the best bands to have ever come from the Isle of Man. The other being my uncle’s band, The 13th Pillar and the other being Voodoo Bandits.

This EP is ridiculous. They should serve time at Jurby’s finest hotel on the Isle of Man for making something this good. Should be a crime! But hey, it isn’t! The EP is made up of 4 fast, ferocious and f….ing incredible songs. Every single song will indeed make you feel like a road racer. Get your leather on and hop on your bike. Go as fast as you legally can and go out into the unknown.

Be Bad is Mad Daddy at their best- it’s filthy, beautifully obnoxious. It’s like Lux and Stiv Bators got into a fight with Iggy Pop, and this song came out. It’s my favourite at the moment, but with a record like this- you cannot settle with just one song. It’s the kind of song that you have to play as loud as you can and snarl along with Dolyn as he unleashes one of the best Mad Daddy songs to date. It goes beyond anything else they’ve done. It is one of the slickest records of the year, and the production is a dream!

Everyone on this record truly shines. Matt’s drumming on this EP is just *chef’s kiss* and again, it smacks you right in the face on Be Bad. The record ends on Here To Stay- Liam and Elvis on this one smash your eardrums on this. Every song on this EP sounds like a band trying to get to the finish line to prove their point. Their point being? Well, that they are one of the best bands in the world. But. you already knew that didn’t you. This is Mad Daddy at their loudest, their best and rowdiest. This EP really does feel like you are on the TT Race Course on Mad Sunday, and no one can keep up with you. It’s such an energetic record. Even though we’re just over a year from their debut record- this EP is another taste of what’s to come from this band.

Mad Daddy have ripped apart bands up and down the UK with their recent shows, and now they are back to mess up your hearing with their rambunctious Punk anthems. Iggy Pop is a huge fan, so that tells you just how special this band are and how remarkable this record is. Every song on this EP was made to be played full volume and with the wind in your hair as you drive and drive, with no destination in mind. It’s a proper gritty record, with songs that’ll have you craving live music, craving more from Mad Daddy. I started writing this review nearly 2 months ago, but for some reason, I’ve not had it in me to finish this or write about music. I’ve got enough records I need to write about so that’ll keep me going! But, if you need something to keep YOU going- go ahead and listen to this record. Isle of Man friends-ride the TT route playing this EP over and over.

Just when you think Mad Daddy have done it all, they unleash a heavy and gnarly record like this on us. It may only 4 songs long, but those 4 songs will ricochet through your eardrums, mind, body and brain at full pelt. Take it all in and play it loud!

GHUM: Bitter.

This might be all over the place because I am SO excited to write about the debut record by GHUM. It’s out on Friday, and once you hear this record- nothing will be the same again. And in other news, I now have a cat so I’m going to do my best to make a little Punk out of her. I think she’ll tolerate the beautiful noise I play. Speaking of beautiful noise, let’s get into the best record of 2022, shall we?

You know about my love for the band GHUM, that’s been apparent for a long time now. They encompass everything I love about music, everything I want from music and have a sound that I’m just obsessed with. When I listen to them, I get that same rush I did when I first heard TwoFiftyFour, L.A.Witch, The Kills and Warpaint for the first time. That same kick I got from hearing Seventeen Seconds by The Cure. That same rush I got when I heard The Cramps for the first time. In short, this band have that same thing about them that just makes me fall in love with music all over again. With a debut record, a lot can be expected. As a fan, you just want to finally hear the finished product. I can’t imagine the stress that comes with it from being in a band waiting for the world to hear it.

The record opens with Some People- the first big release for this record. The video to this is incredible, and listening to it in an album setting gives a bigger meaning and feeling to the song. I’m all in. I’m hooked. The record makes you want to take a road trip round Europe and forget the world you’re part of for a little while. There’s a lot of escapism on this record, and it’s down to their incredible way of giving you these dark and euphoric anthems. There is something to spooky and special about this record, and when you listen to the likes of Bad Brain, it really does hit you how incredibly talented this band is. Bad Brain may be my favourite song from the record at the moment, but my mind will obviously change. It is just a beautiful record, and I’m not just saying it because I adore this band. I think, if you’ve never listened to GHUM before, this record will blow your mind. They’re just the perfect band and even though they’ve only played Manchester once, it was one of the best gigs I’ve ever been to. They’re a band that you just HAVE to see live, and my god I’m so glad I have. With this record, you can quickly imagine how they will sound live. Songs like Over And Over, Bitter and Deceiver have this sound to them that make you long for a GHUM gig.

The way Laura sings “I hate you” on Over And Over is so gut-wrenching. You really feel the disdain and disappointment in her voice, and for a singer to project their emotions into a song like this is truly something to admire. You’re just fascinated by how she delicately sings of her hate- that fragility is a rare moment on the record because for the most part, she delivers the songs with this toughness- not intimidating at all, the opposite. She kind of gives you some of her strength. All of them make you feel empowered in a way that you didn’t think a band/record/song could. This is a truly special record from start to finish, and all that’s in between.

Every single song on this record deserves your complete and utter attention. Not only will you fall madly in love with the songs, but you’ll end up being besotted with how exceptional they are as a band. Jojo is one of the best guitarists you’ll ever hear. The way Jojo plays is remarkable, and the way MJ perfectly compliments her with her bass playing is just stunning. They both add this mystic groove to every single song. This is perfectly fitted with the drumming skills of Vicki- and on the song Echo, that’s where you really REALLY hear this glorious marriage of sounds. There’s chaos but there’s calmness on this record, and that’s part of the appeal.

The main reason as to why this is the best record of the year? Because it sounds like everything, you’d want your favourite band to sound like. If you’re looking for a record to get lost in or a record to listen to whilst you try tame your mind- this is for you. Stick some headphones on and blast this record in your ears. There is so much to love and cherish about this record. From the lyrics, to the way the drums sound like waves crashing against your soul and the bass and guitar bringing you back down to provide comfort. It’s just a glorious record and a joy to listen to.

I can only write about this record/anything I write about as a fan; that’s all I know. But trust me- this is the record of the year. Everything you could want and more. I cannot wait to play it religiously as I go to/from work. I can’t wait for the days to get shorter and let the songs take on a different meaning in different seasons. I can’t wait for the world to hear this record. It may be a debut record, but this band know exactly how they want to sound. This sure sound is just a dream to listen to. At times the songs are ethereal and there are times where this fury in Laura’s voice (the ending of Shallow where she belts out “You don’t know me” is SO powerful) every song has moments built into it that stick in your brain. The record ends with a 7 minute delight- Rivers. I won’t spoil it for you, but this may just end up being one of those songs that they use in films to really heighten the suspense.

They’ve done it. So easy. So effortlessly. So slick, so cool, so perfect.

AMYL AND THE SNIFFERS: Albert Hall, Manchester. 31st May 2022.

Of all the gigs I’ve ever been to at the Albert Hall, I can say with as much confidence as possible, that last night’s show courtesy of Bruise Control and Amyl and The Sniffers, was the best. From the atmosphere, to the sound to the bands, to the crowd. Everything about the bands last night and the crowd was just divine. I don’t think the Albert Hall will EVER see a show like this again.

This was the first time I’d ever seen Bruise Control live, and my god they made you feel like it was THEIR headline show. Give it time, and they’ll be playing venues like this all the time. The band had their family in the crowd and seeing the singer’s mum have the time of her life whilst singing and dancing her heart out to the phenomenal sounds her son’s band makes was just beautiful. Looking at the crowd and seeing so many people lose their shit to this band was everything we all needed and more. At one point Amy and Gus were stood behind me watching Bruise Control, and to see everyone in the room just lapping up this exceptional band was a sight to behold and treasure. You could see how much this meant to Bruise Control and those that adore them.

Around 9pm, Amyl and The Sniffers bounced onto the stage and immediately tore the roof off the Albert Hall. The energy from their set was an extension of what Bruise Control gave us. Punk music with a bold message and a sound loud enough to deafen you for days. As soon as they opened with GFY (Go Fuck Yourself) the crowd downstairs turned into a sea of bodies swaying, sweating and throwing themselves and each other around. In just 50 minutes, I can’t begin to tell you how many people were being pulled out of the crowd. One being Bruise Control’s singer- who I think was pulled out 5/6 times. To see everyone have this much fun and more importantly- being kind to each other when someone fell or wasn’t too steady was a true sentiment as to what Punk is.

The setlist was a healthy mix of old and new songs. So many songs were a highlight for me. Their performance of Maggot, Got You, Some Mutts and Security were INSANE. There were tamer moments, for instance the song Knifey, that showed a different side to Amy’s vocals. Yes, she belts those proper Punk anthems out, but on Knifey she tells the frustrations of just wanting to walk home peacefully without feeling threatened. She does it in a way that just simply explains the frustrations but delivers it in a way that breaks your heart.

The energy this band have is infectious. The crowd feed off them and vice versa. I saw Amyl and The Sniffers play their first Manchester show at the Deaf Institute a few years ago, and it blew my mind but last night’s show was something else. Maybe it’s because we’ve been waiting years for this or maybe it’s because seeing this band live is the most liberating feeling you’ll get. Amy bounces round the stage like the Duracell bunny who has had too many lemonades; at one point she takes a shirt thrown to her from the crowd and wraps it round her face, like a makeshift balaclava.  She also brings out the bodybuilder stance as well whilst Gus, Dec and Bryce deafen the crowd with their sound.

Every single song is screamed back at the band, and it is the most beautiful sound you’ll ever see. The band totally own the stage, and you can really feel the love they have for their fans, music and each other. The bond they have is just wonderful to watch and being able to see this is a real honour. Some songs are belted out louder than others- from the crowd; such as Guided by Angels, Hertz and Gacked on Anger. The whole set is perfect and I could have happily watched 12 hours of this. Bliss. Absolute bliss. You cannot help but want and need more.

You know how everyone claims to be at the Sex Pistols show at the Free Trade Hall, then went on to form bands? I’m pretty sure that the show at the Albert Hall will have the same impact. There is no way you could have attended the show last night and not been left with a fire in your tummy. Watching them last night, I felt like I did when I first Iggy Pop and The Stooges for the first time. Amy has the same effortlessly slick manners as Iggy on stage. Gus is one of those bassists that make you wish you were as cool as him. Bryce is up there as being one of the best drummers I’ve ever EVER seen live. Dec absolutely rips as a guitarist and controls the crowd effortlessly with his sound.

Two of the most exciting bands in the world ripped the Albert Hall a new one last night, and nothing and no one will ever be the same again.

Punk is not dead. It’ll never die.

BRUISE CONTROL

TONIGHT IS THE NIGHT! The finest Punk band from Manchester will play to a sold out crowd at Manchester Albert Hall supporting Amyl And The Sniffers. Those stain glass windows are in for a shaking tonight- trust me! Probably tomorrow I’ll write about the show once my hearing comes back (thank god I’m off work until Saturday!) but for now, I’m going to tell YOU exactly why Bruise Control are the best around.

Are you looking for a band that’ll unleash all the fury you hold within you? Or maybe you just want to listen to something loud, raw and beautifully Northern? Thought so. Bruise Control are the band you need. They’re the only band you’ll ever need. I’m so excited to see them play a venue like Albert Hall tonight. Punk in old church? Wonderful! It doesn’t get any better than 2 bands you absolutely love playing a venue you love. I’ll tame my excitement for now to focus on writing about Bruise Control. Stick with me. If you can/want to.

If you’re into bands like Ruts DC, Black Flag, The Speedways and Stiff Richards- then chances are that you’re probably already a fan of our beloved Bruise Control. They are everything you could possibly want from a band and more. The lyrics will smack you right in the gut. The drums, bass and guitar will feel like an exorcism of the soul. The vocals will rid you of anything eating you. Basically, they are quite frankly the most important band right now. They are the kind of band you’d probably see in your local boozer on an evening ripping up the tiny stage in the corner with locals feeling a bit wary of what’s going on, but everyone will know that what they’ve seen is probably life-changing.

The mundaneness of daily life is wiped away with this band. They just absolutely rip, and I cannot stress enough just how exciting they are. Bruise Control are the kind of band that become obsessed with. There’s no other way. Going to one show, two shows- not enough. You’ll want to go to every show that they do.

Their debut 4 track EP came out just under 2 years ago, and that EP is the perfect introduction to the band but what you need to pay attention to is their slick cover of Sabotage by The Beastie Boys. It should be a crime how good their cover is. This band are just exceptional. Sometimes you just hear something, and you just know that what you’re hearing will leave a lasting impression. I hope some 13 year old kid hears this band eventually and is inspired to create their own noise- that’s how brilliant Bruise Control are. The urgency in the songs, the ferociousness in their sound is just divine. I don’t think I’ve heard a band play this fast in a while, and sometimes you just need to listen to something that makes you feel like you’ve downed about 10 Pro Plus tablets with an espresso.

What a band. Viva Manchester!

L.A. WITCH: The Pink Room @ Yes, Manchester 18th May 2022.

It’s been a long time since I’ve been right at the very front at a gig. And it’s been a long time since a gig left me a little bit deaf. God bless L.A. Witch for being one of the loudest shows I’ve ever been to.

This show was meant to happen in 2020. We know what caused the delays, but last night the moment finally came.

I saw L.A. Witch play their first ever UK show when they played the Shacklewell Arms in London. It was ridiculous. I couldn’t believe that I was finally seeing them; I genuinely thought they would be one of those bands that I love that never find their way to the UK. I’ve been writing about the band since 2011, and they just blow my mind every single time. I adore their sound, and I love how they transport you into their world. A spooky but laid-back world. Sign me up! I never want to leave.

Last night, they played the Pink Room at Yes. The most important thing about this venue is that it has AIR CON. IT HAS AIR CON. You have no idea how important this is. The ultimate comfort. Let me be cold all of the time please, thank you.

L.A. Witch blast out all the hits. They tear the roof off with Untitled, Sexorexia, Dark Horse, Baby In Blue Jeans. They just kept the anthems coming. With a band like them, it’s difficult to work out who to focus on. Iritia is THE coolest bass player you’ll ever see. Ellie is up there with the greats on the drums- the sheer volume of the drumming was just incredible. Then you have their friend Lauren helping out on guitar who just looks and sounds effortlessly cool. Then Sade is front and center. The guitar is her machine gun. Her vocals are bullets the band look like they could probably knock you out, but we all know that they are just the loveliest and most beautiful humans around. I cannot compare their live shows to anything else in this world. It is like an outer body experience. I danced. My body hurt this morning when I woke up. The signs of a good night. There is so much passion and love in what they do, and how they play/their sound just makes you wish you were as cool as them. There’s no denying just how out of this world I Wanna Lose is live and you cannot help but just move your limbs and whatever else in ways that feel right to you.

L.A. Witch are most certainly one of the most dedicated and hard-working bands around. They seem to have been working and perfecting their sound for well over a decade, and in that time, they have played some amazing venues, toured with some excellent bands and won over plenty of new fans. The atmosphere in the room last night was gorgeous. This show was a long time coming, and let’s hope it won’t be too long for the next tour.

They ended on their enigmatic Get Lost, and the way this sounds like absolutely tops the recorded version. The distorted vocals, the reverb, the sheer loudness- everything.  It is just perfect and such a great way to end the set. They play the best modern day love song; Motorcycle Boy and you just feel like the band are taking you on a road trip on a dusty road into a world that only they know of. Kicking off the show, they played Kill My Baby Tonight which is such a great way to open the show. They could have opened with any song to be honest and it would have had us all hooked immediately. The heaviness in Kill My Baby Tonight stays through the whole set even on lighter songs like Baby In Blue Jeans. There’s this effortlessly slick feel to True Believers and Gen-Z. Your eyes don’t leave the stage at all, and sure they might be darting from one band member to another, but the admiration for them all is always there.

In an ideal world, I could afford to go to every single show they do wherever in the world. Even though they may not end up on this side of the world too often, you just treasure it even more so when it happens. There’s no denying that L.A. Witch will always be regarded as not only one of the best bands in the world ever, but most certainly one of the best bands you will ever see live.

GHUM: Bitter

NEW SINGLE ALERT! GHUM have released the title track from their debut record, Bitter and it is bloody brilliant. I mean, they don’t make bad songs so I guess that’s redundant but honestly- their debut record is going to rip. Laura’s vocals on this are so tough and so snarly. There’s so much power in this band. They all have this ability to just make you wish you were part of the band or wish you could make something like this.

I’m going by what they’ve released previously, and I think it is safe to say that their debut record is going to be nothing short of a masterpiece. It’s out a month today, and I am SO excited to hear it. I’ll probably have to take the day off work to listen to it (I probably would!) So the single Bitter is about, “how the right connection, even for someone that has been beaten up by bad experiences, drives them to go through the risks and fears that new relationships might bring. It’s hopeful, it’s about taking chances.” I think this is properly hammered home with the way Laura sings, “You are the only reason I put myself through this.” We’ve all made exceptions haven’t we. Sometimes it works out but there are times where it didn’t work out, and you’re not sure why you bothered. Laura’s vocals over the electrifying sounds that Vicki, Jojo and Marina MJ bless us with is enough to break the toughest of people. This is a ferocious number with the level of passion that you will always hear and expect from the band. I’ve played this song enough times to know that the record will be just as tough and powerful as this.

GHUM aren’t afraid to be aggressive with their sound, and to show us all exactly how it’s done. At times you feel like you are intruding on something so personal but the more you listen- the more you connect. For me, they are up there with the likes of L.A. Witch, TwoFiftyFour (come back please!!!) and Warpaint. There’s this dark but ethereal sound that has you hooked right away. I’ve listened to Bitter a handful of times on my break now, and I can pretty much call it one of their most heaviest and mind-blowing songs.

I’m not one for wishing time away, but I really cannot wait for the 17th June!

*Photo Credit: Paul Phung