It had been far too long since I had stepped foot inside a live music venue knowing that my ears were about to be engaged in a sonic cage fight and in complete honesty, I was more than ready. The Crofters Rights located in Stokes Croft in Bristol was an extremely adequate venue, with a plethora of bars and local independent cuisine as far as the eye can see in every direction.
The first band on the card was Tayne. The 3-piece hailing from London are an experimental, Noise Rock band. Upon witnessing their live sound I can definitely pick up much more Groove-Metal style riffs and vocals, with elements almost directly picked up from Machine Head front man Rob Flynn. The crushing weight from Tayne’s screamed vocals were unfortunately undermined as the mix didn’t allow a similar weight to come through with the clean vocals. This was however changed within the last 30 seconds of the set as the instrumentation blended together beautifully, which was an honest shame. Tayne did a fantastic job of opening up the evening and set up what was sure to be a tremendous night of action ahead. It has to be said that the true star of the show was a butterfly that somehow found its way into the venue and on stage where it decided to perch on the front man’s head for a few seconds before flung half way across the country in a bout of ferocious head banging.
Now for the co-main event of the evening. Hailing from Bristol with the home court advantage comes Brasher. Only one word comes to mind when I think of Brasher’s music and on-stage presence and that is: FUN. If you struggle to envision exactly what I mean, allow me to paint a picture for you. Freddie Mercury is sharing the stage with Angus Young and an extreme hatred for the Tory Party whilst performing riffs that wouldn’t seem out of place in a Led Zeppelin song. It’s no surprise that Brasher had brought with them a crowd of adoring fans, especially with their post-lockdown speech. From my understanding they are normally a 4-piece however were without a bassist for this particular show, but in my opinion this didn’t make the crowd miss out on very much due to the amount of gain and down-tuning being used by the guitarist. The mix of flamboyance and power that Brasher have seemingly mastered make them a spectacle to behold.
God Damn. The aptly titled name of the headline band is God Damn, and GOD DAMN what a show. Bristol was the third stop on their tour coming after London and Brighton, and if they keep up the same the same amount of energy for the remaining 4 dates of the tour, I wouldn’t be surprised if they are all still in a fatigue induced coma at the time you’re reading this. Whenever you are reading it. God Damn stole the show with an insane amount of stage presence, I mean, who doesn’t want to see someone play their guitar using the hammer-on and pull-off technique while holding a beer in their hand and then spilling the beer all over the neck of their guitar? An element that certainly took me by surprise was the use of a synthesizer instead of a bass guitar. This was a beautiful addition as you can hold down the low frequencies of the bass while also incorporating other symphonic keys elements. Another nice little element to the show itself was the front man telling us a story from their last show in Bristol. The half speed head banging old school metal pretending to be a rock band honestly destroyed the Crofters Rights that night.
It’s not often you witness three bands that are set up in such a way that they complement each other perfectly for the night ahead but it was managed beautifully. I attended the show with a friend of mine who is easily the most cynical person I know, and he had no bad words to say, enough said.
Review by Kane McEvoy