At the end of a busy week, people like to look to their vices to let go and really forget about the stresses of life, some people like to drink, some people like to go gigs, some people like to smoke and the list goes on. Friday night down at one of our favourite cosy venues was the coming together of all three of those listed vices, and Nightshift promotions had yet again pulled out a line up so devestating and heavy that it couldn’t be topped to create that perfect escape. With what felt like an extremely early start to the show, openers Apey & the Pea had the tough job of getting the place in the mood. With an ever growing crowd, they seemed to do no wrong with their doom laden, groove filled setlist. A stage presence like few others, they pull out a storming set that continued to get the crowd riled up and into the mood, the sinister frontman Apey really pushing them on as the set comes closer to ending. Having not released anything since Hellish in 2014, I’m sure that gig has earned them many more fans and their journey a worthwhile one. They seem to be getting plenty of great support slots with big bands these days, lets hope they come back to our shores again soon. One well worth getting down early to enjoy!
Sadly with their time coming to an end of the stage the crowd only seemed to want more, up next though were the insanely intense Primitive Man. These seismic giants have created a huge following with their sludge doom noise, playing in such a small venue only increases the impact of the sheer heaviness of their sound, a sound so heavy it could move mountains. The trio aren’t one to beat around the bush, and kick off the intense show with the wall of feedback and devastating tone. With thanks to Apey & the Pea, the crowd are more than warmed up and ready to take on the World, and the band go down a storm. Not one for talking much on stage, they make a point to let the crowd know why they and are on so early, a mere ten minutes or so after the show they and Bongripper are in need of rushing straight out to catch a ferry, it’s always a shame when a band has to start so early to leave, but those fans that had managed to arrive early didn’t seem to mind as the sheer power that they witness really did take us back to primitive times. A must see experience.
Few bands could follow such a show of force, Bongripper were one of few that could take the challenge, and their instrumental doom was a perfect response. By the time they take to the stage, the Underworld seems to have risen from the depths and reached its capacity. Bongripper are one that know how to create an atmosphere regardless of if you partake in anything recreational or not. The sound in the Underworld had been spot on all night, but for Bongripper it seemed to jump up a notch. The four piece layer wave after wave of intensity on the crowd that bask in the musical glory they are witnessing. The mass of people seem almost hypnotised, and rightly so. There has always been something hypnotic that you can lose yourself in with instrumental doom if you’re in the right mood and like that sort of thing, but to be there and experience it live with a few hundred like minded fans brings you to new levels. The band seem to find themselves on the same wavelength with wry grins to each other through hazy eyes, it really is a shame it all comes to an end far too soon with the need to rush for the ferry, there is nothing quite like being able to live in that moment and not have to rush for trains home. An unforgettable gig with a line up so crushing, so heavy, so devastating, yet all in complete control. A show that’ll stand the tests of time and really make any show for the rest of the year there need to up it’s game if it hopes to be anywhere near as good.