Saturday, April 18, 2015

Boat to Row, GOD DAMN, Baby Godzilla. Live at Left For Dead, RSD

It was 9 in the morning, the weather was cold and the queue outside Left For Dead was long. Boat To Row provided a lovely morning soundtrack to the queuing and anticipation. Stripped down to a three piece, playing banjo, guitar, violin and a strange sort of standing up accordion. Their music was beautifully mellow, more in the style of 60's/70's folkies such as Tir Na Nog, Vashti Bunyan or Nick Drake, than their mumfordish contemporaries.  Hearing them gave me flashbacks of the Lunar Festival, and visions of sunny days spent living in an old gypsy caravan. I spoke to them afterwards and they are all nice, softly spoken, polite people.  A nice start to the morning.  6.4/10

At 12 GOD DAMN  took to the stage. This was a little awkward as usually God Damn gigs send a crowd into a frenzy of head-banging and moshing, but today the sober crowd decided to chill out and stay still for fear of drowning. Loads of people were taking photographs and as usual GOD DAMN's set was blisteringly heavy, and deafeningly loud, a short half hour set of newbies and oldies. The Shoe Prints in the Dust single stood out as being a highlight, but at a GOD DAMN gig the songs all just sort of blend together, Thom Edwards makes more noise than 4 guitarists, using an array of pedals to create more and more noise. There came a point where I was unable to tell whether it was the guitar or my ears making the constant whirring noise. Thom Edwards thanked the band's friend Bjork for paying for the album* (Vultures, out in June), Left For Dead, and Birmingham for being the bands spiritual home. He left the guitar on the amps, pressed a few buttons on the pedal board and left our ears all ringing. 8/10

Baby Godzilla are absolutely insane live. In fact they don't really seem to understand or care what a stage set up is. They were constantly jumping over the pool straight into the audience and planking their mic stands wherever they wanted, whether that be right in the middle of the crowd, by a few children watching the show, on amps, on tables, in a local shop or on top of fellow nutter, Connor Hemming. They did acrobatics, swinging upside down from the metal bars above the stage and even climbing a bunch of stairs and jumping on top of the Oobleck. As for the music it is hard to pin Baby Godzilla down. Not really a metal band like God Damn, but not a straight forward punk band either. It wasn't a great environment for a mosh, and you can't headbang to their music as their songs are incredibly erratic, constantly changing rhythm and only lasting two minutes or so long. All the audience could do was stare in disbelief. Few bands engage the audience in the same way as BG, getting straight into the crowd from the first note and sharing mics with them. I've also never seen a band with such blatant disregard for health and safety, leaving wires all over the place, dangling in the water, taking their guitars into the pool with them, I worry that one of them may be seriously hurt in a toaster in a bath incident. Baby Godzilla are playing Slam Dunk festival soon. They will make everyone else on the bill seem a bit naff.

*just a joke of course, but they're on her label so he's not wrong


(separate photo blogs of each band will follow, you can click on each one to make it bigger)

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