So in a overdone zombie Morrissey outfit on wednesday, I found myself trapsing (or rather being blown by the wind) down the Brighton seafront in order to see Howler & co bring down The Haunt, Howlerween style – well, even if only 5 of the crowd & the bands were dressed up, fuck the the audience for making me look like a freak honestly .
Gross Magic soon kicked it off donning lab coats & cat whiskers and are definitely one of the best live bands i have ever seen, ever…. i genuinely mean that. They are comprised of Brighton’s own Sam McGarrigle creating a psychedelic, grungey & downright insane sound with some live musical backing mates that were just as awesome.
The riff of Sweetest Touch, massive track off debut EP Teen Jamz, crashed in & the brilliance began, after of course a twisted mini cover of Smells Like Teen Spirit over said riff. The set continued much the same, with incredible intensity and strobes EVERYWHERE aswell as each song being dedicated to a new person and the audience, including me, appeared to be very much up for it all. The set was all very short, but they crammed one hell of musical excellence into it and the last track Streetwise Guys/There’s A Shadow – that went out to the guys that push you around, you know the ones – was 4 minutes of pure energy and splintering riffs that made it the best conclusion ever. Gross Magic are mosh worthy in the right crowd & that is something indeed – I can’t wait to see them again.
On a side note, they also sold awesome PYT picks which came in handy when your bass arrives the day after (it’s beautiful) & some nice t shirts which they sold to me after, complete with neon stage sticker reading SIMON, i’m not entirely sure who Simon is but i appreciate his sticker greatly, and they were very nice guys too. My dad is going to be telling everyone they shook his hand when they are famous apparently, look out for that. Rad.
Next came The Cast Of Cheers, after not really paying attention to them when i first saw them supporting Two Door last year but their album capturing my ears, I was eager to see what they had instore.
I feel like concise is a good word to describe their set, from start to finish it was just indie guitary gems of brilliance without fault – well unless you muck up your loop pedal and hope no one notices (sorry ) His vocals live are just brilliant, i mean they sound lovely on the record but in real life it’s a whole new level, the same applies to all elements really, but the vocals stuck out particularly as ace.
The only low point was the neverending strobes, to the point where i genuinely thought i was going to go blind – later told i wasn’t the only one via
I also feel like it’s only right to mention how much the bassist looks like Dave Rowntree’s younger twin or something too. Go buy their album.
Lastly Howler graced the stage, Halloween’d up (Jordan was also Zombie Morrissey do i get bonus points for being a great person/) and thundered into the set with “we’re only playing Thin Lizzy tonight, i hope you like em” and a quick rendition of The Boys Are Back In Town that fell apart before the second verse before crashing into tracks off the incredible debut America Give Up that everyone proceeded to go mental – I wish i could say i was joking when i tell you a large completely sober man of about 50 in a suit crushed me out the way in order to get into the mosh pit, i didn’t see him again.
Told You Once went down a treat too, then the drum problems began – by the end of the gig there had been 4 long intervals of A* banter while roadies rushed on and valiantly tried to fix them, it was painful to watch because i felt ridiculously bad for them but the chatting continued, Max’s birthday outfit explained & they were back in action once again. I believe a couple of tracks ended up minus the kick but it sounded rad nonetheless.
They played a couple of new ones that sounded just as brilliant as anything they’ve done previously – a bit darker and maybe more so in fact and despite what seemed like an age long set of just energy & great music, Back Of Your Neck was played, stage invasion ensued and the last I saw before I was dragged offstage was Jordan engulfed & trying to escape the large crowd piling the drumset, all before 10 on a wednesday night – a c e.
Howler are absolutely top live and despite being a bit dubious and not knowing much of the words, I was completely won over & highly recommend seeing them – roll on album two.