Live Review: Roadkill Records All-Dayer – Day 2 ft. DOLLS, Bonfire Nights, Deja Vega, Muertos, Pale Days, Deathcaps, Scab Hand, Dead Houses

After the raucous events of the day one, the gradually assembling crowd for the second half of Roadkill Records’ weekender are feeling decidedly worse for wear – hungover, red-eyed and in need of a good night’s sleep, and that’s just me.  Thankfully, openers Dead Houses are here with a hair of the dog remedy of grungey guitars to break us out of our torpor.

And if that wasn’t enough to wake us all up, the sonic barrage provided by second act Scab Hand is forceful enough to raise the dead from their graves.  Guitars are smothered with fifteen varieties of fuzz, songs that in the hands of any other band would stretch across three minutes are torn through in a minute and half and frontman Kev Lennon, formerly of Joyzine faves Love Buzzard, convulses and yelps like a man undergoing spiritual possession in an American megachurch.

Deathcaps are not a band shy of making a spectacle of themselves.  Taking to the stage smeared in fake blood with a coffin-shaped pedal box they rattle through a set of punked up rockabilly.

Pale Days used to go under the name Sewer Rats and the fact that they had an EP out through the excellent Fluffer Records should give you an idea of what to expect.  This is stoner rock played at double time with larynx shredding vocals.

Next up, Roadkill regulars Muertos transport us from a small room above a pub in North London to the endless plains of a Leone spaghetti Western.  With their downbeat vocal harmonies and expansive vintage drone backing they put us in mind of the Raveonettes’ early work.

Cheshire trio Deja Vega bring a psych rock sound fuelled by pulsating bass and spacey guitars.

The discovery of the day for me were Bonfire Nights, who created a huge, sprawling sound that flooded the Lock with low slung bass, washes of synth and gorgeous blissed-out vocal interplay.

Rounding off the night, and indeed the weekend, it’s great to see DOLLS back in action after a spell on the sidelines following drummer Bel’s broken ankle.  They’ve come back leaner and meaner with some great new songs and a spikier edge and clearly loving every second of being back on stage just as much as we were enjoying watching them.

Words and Photography by Paul Maps

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