LIVE REVIEW! Pitchshifter - Nottingham, Rock City

December 4, 2018


Nostalgia sells… but who’s buying?


The best part of 18 years ago both Pitchshifter and earthtone9 were at the peak of their careers. Selling out Academy venues across the UK on their joint 2001 UK tour, pushing the boundaries of their respective sounds, growing their fan base on knocking on the door of the huge American market.


Fast forward the best part of two decades, earthtone9 tour sporadically – when all members are in the same country at the same time. Pitchshifter haven’t played in ten years and are also spread out across the globe these days.


So out of the blue came the “reunion” tour to celebrate the 20th anniversary of Pitchshifter’s album. What started as a one off date at Rock City ended up being a full UK tour and the band brought their old touring buddies earthtone9 along for the ride. However the question remains, is there really an appetite for these two bands anymore?


The sold out tour finale at Rock City, both bands home town, certainly answers this. In addition full venues across the UK prove there is still a demand for these bands and the reaction both bands receive goes to strengthen that.


The hometown show features The Blueprint as opening act, another Nottingham band who have not played together in 12 years themselves. Featuring Karl Middleton (also of earthtone9) on vocals, they have a short 30 minutes to fill and delivery six songs in a crushing assault to the senses and a great way to kick off the evening.


However, the first big draw of the night are earthtone9, never really on hiatus, but with members spread far and wide they tour all too sporadically these days. Over the years they’ve not lost the musical edge that set them apart from everyone else. In the intervening years no one has managed to emulate their uniqueness. It was this uniqueness that drew the fans in the first place, opening with ‘Star Damage’, Owen’s beautifully expansive guitar sound draws you in. Karl’s growl keeps you enthralled and Simons drum track beats the hell out of you.


An earthtone9 show has always been an aural delight and this is no different, Evil Crawling I and March of the Yeti are highlights but Withered, their oldest song, is ultimately the highlight before the inevitable Tat Twam Asi to close. 


Pitchshifter as headliners have a little longer to perform before the strict 10pm curfew. A completely different sound offers a contrasting tone to the evening mixing an element of drum and base with more traditional heavy guitars and energetic vocals.


Opening with Microwave the fans are treated to the energy of a band that belies their age. It’s as if we are back in 2001 as we are treated to ‘What’s In It For Me’, ‘Hidden Agenda’ and ‘Subject to Status’. JS Clayden bounces around the stage, encouraging as much fan interaction as possible, sing alongs and chants of “Pitchishifter, Pitchshifter” recorded for posterity and upload to social media in an instant.

As MD Clayden shouts out W.Y.S.I.W.Y.G. the room pops, the roof is blown off and the crowd go literally mental. As if twenty years has now passed the crowd romp away as the band deliver a cutting edge performance, which is closed out with the inevitable ‘Genius’.


On this evening and throughout this tour nostalgia has sales have been high and plentiful. We all love reliving our youth and 3000 people in Rock City tonight did just that. It was just as good as we all remember and can just hope we don’t have to wait as long for this to happen all over again.

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