The Garage 15/02/20
It was another wet and
windy night in old Swansea town, many people were battening down the
hatches and staying firmly indoors on this Saturday night but no
storm was gonna stop me heading out, especially one called Dennis,
I’m struggling to think of anyone of note called Dennis apart from
Dennis Bergkamp and Dennis the menace, and one of them’s not real and
the other was too scared to get on a plane – I’ll leave you to work
out which ones which if you don’t already know. Anyway I digress, I
arrived at the Garage in plenty of time to get a beer in me before
the first band started, the place wasn’t “rammed” but it was
still a decent turn out considering the weather, and there was a good
atmosphere about the place, I like the garage, its a good live music
venue that really isnt used enough.
Opening band for the night was “The Rusty Nutz”, who are not a band I’ve seen before really, I caught a small snippet of their set at the last Swansea fringe weekend but I had to run off to play a second gig of the day myself – Fringe weekend is always a busy one. They started their set with a slow and brooding metal sounding riff that sounded quite appropriate for what I was expecting later on in the evening, as their set went on though they first went a bit punkier and more energetic, still with a darker tone to the songs and by the end of the set were playing tunes that were much more upbeat and had catchier, poppier melodies, don’t get me wrong these guys definitely ain’t a pop band but there was quite a change from the start of their set to the end. The performance certainly improved as they went on as well, you could almost hear the band getting more warmed up as the set went on, although this was probably helped by a few little tweaks from one of Swansea’s longest serving sound engineers Chris Meek behind the desk. The songs seemed to get more “fun” as the set went on as the guys aren’t afraid to inject a little bit of humour in to their songs with titles like “Popty Ping” and “hyper value song. They’re a good “fun” rock band these boys.
After a short break for a trip to the bar and a quick chat to some familiar faces “People and other diseases” took to the stage and immediately upped the energy levels, you can tell these guys are more experienced live performers, they seem comfortable onstage and very happy to smash out their angular, punk noise to whoever’s there to listen, and there were a few more people who shuffled down to the front when they kicked off their set. I like this band, its loud, noisy, energetic and not afraid to take a few slightly weird twists and turns. Their Facebook page describes them as Post punk / garage / grunge which I’d say is a pretty accurate description its dark and nasty at some points but they really do settle in to some nice grooves that tie it all together and they’ve got some catchy melodies in there too, now I didn’t make too many notes on these guys, but that’s probably just a sign that I was enjoying them too much to worry about being professional
last up our headliners for the night “sludgecraft” take to the stage, for those of you who don’t know, these guys are old school, I remember first seeing them about 20 years ago – sorry boys, at least saying that makes me sound old too – and they’ve lost none of their energy and raw power in that time either. They’re straight in to it heavy and hard from the off with some big brutal metal riffs as if they were trying to knock the front row down with sheer volume alone. Sludgecraft aren’t just about being loud and heavy though, there’s some good melody and some nice grooves in there to keep things interesting and keep the audience on their toes. They work the dynamics in the songs well too from powerful angry more punk moments to some nice filthy sounding grooves and the rhythm section dropping in to a nice half time groove behind the guitar at one point too. The vocals are, as you might expect, loud and angry sounding, in a very punk, sharp and piercing sort of way, they certainly cut through all that heaviness from the rest of the band. If you like your music loud, angry heavy, and powerful sludgecraft are the band for you and who would have thought it it with a name like that.