BK & Dad, Grazing Saints, Colossus at Epic Studios, Norwich, 21 June 2014
The summer solstice brought us this superb line up at Epic, featuring an unmissable opportunity to see the immense BK & Dad, the on-form Grazing Saints, and newcomers to the city’s live music scene, Colossus. A year or two ago I remember saying to Joe of The Grazing Saints that I’d love to see them play on the same bill as BK & Dad, and tonight this wish came true.
Five-piece band Colossus were the openers. I knew nothing about them before tonight but it transpired it was only their second gig, astonishingly. Looking slightly dark indie from the 80s, 90s they had a somewhat shoegazer sound with some killer tunes. Some buzzsaw guitar, power chords, great drums, and keys. I was at times taken back to memories of Spiritualized, My Bloody Valentine, Spacemen 3, 4AD guitar bands such as X-mal Deutschland and more. They do look good but there is not a lot of movement on the stage as they are more about the songs and the sound and they have a moody appearance which looked atmospheric backlit with the dry ice wafting about the stage. Two or three songs in particular really grabbed me and I’d like to hear more from Colossus and see them again. Soon. Impressive.
Grazing Saints are a band I love but never seem to catch as often as I’d like, so this was something of a treat. They were all on fine form, with Joe growling some heavy lyrics with some new songs on offer too. They gel very well as a trio and each of them excel at what they do. The last time I saw them at the Marquee I was a tad disappointed only that Windows was omitted, but it was back in the set list today. Joe was having some guitar technical difficulties as it started so Paul and Michele kept the already hypnotic intro rolling on until Joe had control of the feedback (which itself was not unwelcome nor out of place) and came storming into the song. It only heightened the effect of my favourite song of their set at the moment and it made for a seven minute highlight. Michele and Paul look at ease and are so precise, leaving Joe free to prowl the stage delivering his vocals of pain, angst, sadness, loss, and torment brilliantly. They opened the set especially well with a song about leaving these flat lands and moving to the mountains … Joe being a master of the long song titles! One of my favourite Norwich bands, it was an absolute pleasure to be present at one of their gigs again.
The Grazing Saints – “Windows” from a recent Birdcage gig:
I don’t think I’ve heard BK & Dad since New Year’s Eve at Bo Nanafana, so it was appropriate that it should be the summer solstice when I see them again. I love this band – powerful, hypnotic, mesmerising and loud. Tonight playing without the projections at the back of the stage they were nevertheless their usual wall of sound and energy. Pip’s pounding and insistent drumming is just incredible, whilst Leo on guitar and vocals creates amazing sounds with pedals … the overall, mighty effect is especially noticeable when the set ends, whereupon it is like coming out of a trance. There is repetition, growled vocals, huge drums and some howling, sonic guitar and no small amount of intensity. Just sensational stuff as always from these two.
A video of “Train” from BK & Dad’s gig at the Norwich Stew Gallery last year:
Many thanks to Epic and all the acts on the bill. Some glorious feedback and sounds came from the stage tonight from all three bands.
words and photos, richard shashamane 2014