13 Candles, Acrimony, Alex Schenkels, Backstage Munich, Black Moth, Cambridgeshire, Cul de Sac, Dave Vachon, Dean Millar, Death's Door, Dom McCready, Harriet Bevan, I'll Cut You Down, Itamar Rubinger, Jim Swainston, K.R. Starrs, Kyuss, Leeds, Matrix Bochum, Mind Control, Mind Crawler, Monster Fotografien, Mount Abraxas, Nico Carew, Poison Apple, Rise Above Records, Roadburn, Sharon Tate, Sigiriya, The Killing Jar, The Oath, Tilburg, Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats, Valley of the Dolls, Vampire Circus, Witheres Hand, Yama, Yotam Rubinger
Yorck Segatz for Psychorizon – Live pictures provided by Monsterpics
On the 16th of March in the year of MMXIV, the lysergic nieces and nephews gathered at the Matrix in Bochum (GER) to attend yet another astonishing performance of one of Britain’s best kept secrets: UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS! This event took place in the southern annex-room of the venue. Looking like the remnants of a former brewery, the first impression was quite a weird one: there was no real stage, just a plain area confined by monitor speakers and microphone stands. Another funny fact: you can access a gallery leading up and behind that “stage”, making it possible to look at the band’s backs from above! The place was packed right from the beginning, lots of different people were drawn out on a fairly warm Sunday evening. The Doom Sisters and Stoner Dudes, of course, but also Hard Rock fans and the occasional “Kutte” attended the gig. Merchandise was available already, but the real business started not until after the UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS gig.
Itamar Rubinger & his lovely company: Wiggling Jesus and the breathtakingly beautiful Sharon Tate
Initial supporting act THE OATH pulled out for yet unknown reasons, but replacement band YAMA made sure to deliver a rock solid performance with their very own brand of sweet Dutch heaviness. Originating from Tilburg and Utrecht, the four-piece reminded me a lot of ACRIMONY successors SIGIRIYA and a bit of the later KYUSS-style: A downtuned, blues laden onslaught for the worshippers of the riff. Vocalist Alex Schenkels chanted and danced the hell out of himself while occasionally garnishing the songs with his blues harp. A very intense gig, leaving the audience more than impressed after roughly 45 minutes. The sound was appropriate, but I have to admit that I was watching most of the performance from the upper gallery. As me and my photographer buddy headed to the front line during the break, there was no chance to catch up with the band at the merch table. Unfortunately, neither the four lads nor the merchandise were to be seen when UNCLE ACID had finished. At least their three track EP can be downloaded for free at this location. If you’re a lucky bastard and got a ticket for this year’s edition of the Roadburn Festival, make sure to check them out on April 12th at the Cul de Sac!
Axeman Yotam Rubinger got his shirt & guitar in matching colors, very classy!
By 9:15 pm, the Uncle hit the lights and crushed relentlessly into the set with the opening tracks of 2013’s album, ‘Mind Control’. Intensified by the absence of the stage, the band made an immediate connection with the audience and delivered a super tight performance, leaving no questions in terms of noise and power. The wall of sound was mainly produced from vintage equipment and created a tone that matched (and even exceeded) the canned heat of the studio takes caught on vinyl. Especially bass player Dean Millar made himself heard by plying two 8×10“ bass cabs.
Presenting a well stirred mixture from nearly all releases, 13 tracks made their way onto the set-list. Chatter between the songs was reduced to a minimum beyond the acknowledgments for crowd response, instead, the music did the talking. The stage-acting was fitting, laying focus on the solo parts, but always keeping an eye on full band performance rather than egomaniac jerking on the fretboard. Fronter K.R. „Uncle Acid“ Starrs made a charismatic appearance, but never stole too much of the limelight from his deadbeat mates. Finishing the regular set with a passionate rendition of ‘Vampire Circus’, the band opted to drop the compulsive break and went straight into the encore, consisting of three more songs. After another 15 minutes, the crowd was left behind exhausted and hungry for more.
Standing in the front row during the entire gig, I got full PA as well as the stage sound straight at my ears (I just LOVE that, you know…), so I’m not able to tell if it was decent in the back rows. It’s always a good thing if my humble self is leaving a gig with both ears ringing…Another great way to measure up the excellence of a performing band is to have a look at the merchandise booth right after the show. In this case, it was quite hard to get hands on a patch! Everything done right, I guess…
K.R. Starrs got his guitarstrap matching his name – now, who’s got style?!
Midweeks are usually not much for a night on the town and fun till dawn, but as one af a rare occasions was calling me to visit the fair city of Munich on a Wednesday, April 04th 2014, it would be to revisit one of the fastest rising stars of the underground sky across the British isles and far beyond its borders: UNCLE ACID AND THE DEADBEATS.
As labelmates THE OATH are unavailable for the ongoing road shenanigans, countrymates BLACK MOTH hooked on the rolling circus, second in line that is after Dutch YAMA. Luckily BLACK MOTH are around for the second part of the tour and opening the night at Backstage Club, Munich very much to my personal enthrallment. The Leeds-based fivepiece, led by its enchanting singer Harriet Bevan took off as if there was no tomorrow. Their heavy and slighty grungy Rock sound had the notably increasing audience nod along hypnotic beats and some first headbangers let loose and just gave in to the music. Their set included songs from their full-length debut “The Killing Jar” and the yet untitled second attempt. Anyone still moaning upon the absence of THE OATH should be left speechless sometime around half way through BLACK MOTH’s 30 plus minutes stage time. Harriet, guitarists Jim Swainston & Nico Carew, bassplayer Dave Vachon and drummer Dom McCready clearly enjoyed this sweat soaking chance to play to a well-mannered crowd that made a pleasant change to what is way too common these days and much to my surprise I hardly saw anyone busy on their celly! Seems there’s hope for us yet.
After setting up the rather small stage of Backstage Club for the impatiently awaited highlight of the night, the Cambridgeshire combo enters and kicks off with ‘Mount Abraxas’, not unloading their full gear at once. In the course of their show, humidity is raising as fast as the oxygen level is decreasing, turning the venue into a Sauna with sound. Tracks from the previous output such as ‘I’ll Cut You Down’, ‘Death’s Door’, ’13 Candles’ and ‘Withered Hands’ were most well received, but also more current songs like ‘Mind Control’, ‘Poison Apple’ and ‘Valley Of The Dolls’ – fronter K.R. Starrs dedicated to the late Sharon Tate – got the heat running. After a good hour, that of course ended WAY TO FAST, this mind blowing encounter was over, leaving my clothes dripping and my neck sore…