When the opportunity arose to attend the launch party of Deadwax TV on behalf of More Fuzz I jumped at the chance. A stellar line-up of six bands, at what was a new venue for me, and which included the first ever UK show by Mother Engine made it a no-brainer as far as I was concerned.
I traveled up to London on the train from my home in Kent and made my way to Shoreditch. A ten-minute walk from Old Street Tube station the venue is situated on a garden square, which is also home to several other bars and restaurants. The live music room is on the same level as the bar/restaurant area and is a good size with its capacity listed as 300.
The Brothers Keg
Kicking off proceedings were The Brothers Keg whose lineup features two-thirds of the London band Stubb; Tom Fyfe (Drums) and Tom Hobson (Guitar/Vocals) alongside Paul Rosser (Bass/Vocals). Their sludgy brand of Heavy Psych going down very well with the enthusiastic early crowd. With only a demo released so far hopefully, we’ll hear more from these guys soon.
Next on stage were Madmess who played a primarily instrumental set in a style very reminiscent of Colour Haze. This Portuguese trio’s Psychedelic/Space rock set conjured up images in my mind of the power of a rocket launch, followed by the serenity of orbit before smashing back through the atmosphere and returning to Earth.
Madmess are Ricardo Sampaio (Guitar), Vasco Vasconcelos (Bass) and Luis Moura (Drums).
Third band of the day were GNOB, yet another power trio, who brought to the party some fantastic fuzz-drenched guitar superbly complemented by a solid groove from the rhythm section. Freedom Forty-Five and The Offering being the kind of balls to the wall Heavy Psych songs that gets the thumbs up from me.
GNOB are Nicholas Georgiou (Guitar/Vocals), Ben Kenobi Le Marchant (Bass) and Morten Jorgensen (Drums).
Next up were the duo Tuskar, I’d read good things about them as a live act and holy shit they didn’t disappoint! From the outset Tom Dimmock (Guitar) and Tyler Hodges (Drums/Vocals) grab you by the eardrums and demand your attention. On top of the aural assault, I found myself visually transfixed at times as Tyler systematically brutalized his drum kit, punctuated with the occasional moment of sublime dexterous delicacy. Throw in the aggressive growling vocals alongside the crushingly heavy guitar tones and it all added up to a mightily impressive performance.
Talking of impressive performances I haven’t seen many better than Kurokuma’s at a packed Black Heart on the Sunday of this years Desertfest London and man they were just as awesome here. Admittedly the atmosphere in this venue was completely different but the sound and intensity of the performance these guys produced were amazing. What I love about their music is the variety of styles on display; Doom, Sludge, Stoner, Psych, Space rock and even Tribal are all incorporated. Innovative use of effects pedals and percussion adds to the overall sound and the band is so tight that the hour-long set seems to fly by like one long rollercoaster ride. This was the last live performance of 2019 by Sheffield’s finest, but if you get the chance to see them in the future don’t miss it!
Kurokuma are Jacob Mazlum (Guitar), George Ionita (Bass) and Joe Allen (Drums).
Headlining this mini-festival were the German instrumental band Mother Engine. As I mentioned earlier this was their first ever UK gig, somewhat surprising as they have toured extensively across mainland Europe in recent years including festivals such as Freak Valley and Sonic Blast Moledo. But if this performance is anything to go by hopefully it won’t be long before they grace our shores again. After years of honing their skills on stage and in the studio Chris Trautenbach (Guitar), Christian Dressel (Bass) and Cornelius Grunert (Drums) put together a flawless, high energy set full of groovy rhythm and fuzzy riffs! Check out Mr. Fuzz’s review of their 2017 album Hanger (here).
I had a great time at this show and a big shout out to Hoxton Square Bar & Kitchen, an excellent venue with friendly and welcoming staff. Also massive thanks to Angela for adding me to the guest list for this event and best wishes to Deadwax TV for the future.