Allusondrugs + Bi:Lingual + Idle Violets, KU, Stockton. 21.11.14
'Have you ever snapped your banjo string?'
As the crowd make a collective noise somewhere between a cheer, a laugh and a wince, cheekily charismatic Allusondrugs frontman Jason Moules flashes a grin, announces 'this is for anyone that's ever snapped their banjo string' and launches straight into the brilliantly named Ted, What's The Porn Like In Heaven. As far as intros go, it's a doozey.
This Leeds band - or Castleford, for those more familiar with West Yorkshire- are gaining a stellar reputation for their live shows, with Kerrang! listing them in their top 20 hottest bands in the world right now, more glowing reviews than you can shake a torn frenulum at (don't try that at home) and approximately 1.21 gigawatts of energy channelled into 30 minutes of boisterous, glorious, earplug-breaking sound. Their recorded stuff is decent, Live, they are a phenomenon.
Tonight's gig at KU is packed with fan favourites like Nervous and I'm Your Man, witty asides and beckonings to the audience to 'come closer' (the best sound in KU is right at the front, dontchaknow) plus onstage headbanging so violent it's verging on whiplash, vocals belted out with vehemence and a guitarist so focused on slinging out riffs at a rate of knots that he totally stacks it, goes flying offstage into a barrier and calmly bounces back on as if nothing has happened. It's exciting, vibrant and bang on the money. With echoes of Nirvana (yeah I know, it's a lazy comparison but it had to be said), Sonic Youth, Drenge and Pearl Jam coming through in their powerful melodies, plus a touch of psychedelic fuzziness to pad out the grunge a little and a singer who reminds me of a coherant Castlefordian Kurt Cobain, Allusondrugs have a hard-rocking, driving urgency to them, like they're holding themselves back from unleashing total chaos. And that barely-restrained mayhem makes for some bloody good music.
Solid support came in the form of Stockton band Idle Violets, who delivered Blues-tinted rock with a soulful, funk edge, and Teesside rock/hip hop group Bi:Lingual, whose mix of musical styles was billed as 'Riff-Rap' (I'm favouring The Teesstie Boys) and didn't disappoint...unlike my phone notes on both bands, which have disappeared without trace. Luckily they're both mint so I'll be more than happy to go and see them again!
Check out the tracks and band links, or if you're on a laptop a selection of photos below (courtesy of KU, the only pic I got was the Idle Violets one) and get yourself out to see them live if you can, It's worth every earsplitting second.
Just watch your banjo.
(if there's a gap here, scroll down for links. The mobile optimisation is shite)