Birmingham tonight is awash with denim clad, long haired letharios and vixens alike, the pubs and bars of Digbeth busier than usual on a week night. Ultimately all of these fine folks are heading down to Digbeth and the O2 Institute as the Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats ‘Wasteland’ tour rolls into town.
Along for the ride are Canadian ensemble Blood Ceremony. Their music toys with many styles from traditional folk rock to acid to doom and a whole plethora of styles in between. Front woman Alia invokes the essence of a witch with haunting vocals and keyboards tones to match. Heavy as hell bass lines and thunderous riffs drive the band in one direction before they twist off in another as their style and music meanders through its influences.
When Alia steps away from the keyboard and produces a flute Blood Ceremony’s sound takes a whole different path. You can’t help but think Jethro Tull, but not in a bad way. It fits eloquently between the heavy riffs and melodic folk twists to give a well-rounded trippy experience like none I have experienced in the live arena prior.
For forty five minutes, warming us up before the headliner, Blood Ceremony weave their way through a magnificent performance that has the audience somewhat transfixed.
There is little in the way of lighting as headliner Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats take to the stage. A projector throwing imagery onto a plain backdrop the only source of light, scarcely illuminating the band. Opening with ‘I See Through You’, the band mean business. Inspired by early Sabbath, the riffs are loud and heavy. The throb of the bass reverberates within you as they plough on thorough ‘Mind Crawler’ and ‘Deaths Door’.
Their drone creates a dark atmosphere, sucking the listener into their live set, enveloping them, consuming them. The crowd move as one giant mass in time to that beat and the next dark riff. Their catalogue of five albums all provide material for the hour and a half long set. ‘Dead Eyes of London’ and ’13 Candles’ highlighting both the bands song writing abilities and their technical skills in the live arena.
The haunting set is rounded out perfectly with ‘Melody Lane’ and ‘No Return’. A triumphant headline tour for the band, which sets a tone and atmosphere that few could follow or recreate. If you like your music hard, heavy and atmospheric then look no further. Uncle Acid and the Deadbeats have everything you could ever need.