Oxford based psych band Neon Violets took over the Finsbury, a humble little pub this Thursday, and they transformed the London boozer into an all encompassing psychedelic sound palace; their set itself lasted about 35 minutes, and it contained everything you'd need with a band like this. The band prepped for their set by putting up their own tapestries, the first sound of their set under the squalling guitar feedback was that of their own windchime, and throughout the set they brought together earth shattering guitars with unusual bits and pieces.
Truly, the three piece were basically what The Velvet Underground would have sounded like, if instead of Andy Warhol they were taken under the wing of Hunter S. Thompson - unashamedly druggy, but in a euphoric, trippy way, Neon Violets are a stellar live act, and their headline Finsbury set is more than enough to make me a long term fan.
However, I've gotta say, they really were outshined by younger support - two of THE BEST young psych bands I've seen, and two of the most promising bands to follow for next year - Southampton psych merchants Melt Dunes and London garage thrashers Mystified. Both bands had an intense sound, and an entrancing, magnetic stage presence.
Melt Dunes are a band I've spoken about obsessively on this blog before, and probably will again very soon. Their set was one heavy, sprawling work of music that sounded to quote a pal 'like the Wytches thrown into a k-hole'. Pummeling loud sections, quiet entrancing sections, the dynamics of Melt Dunes' set as they stitched together their psychedelic sonic tapestry was really quite something that you can't take your eyes off for a second. Maybe I'll add too that the band are the loudest the pub have ever had, according to a security guard, and I'm really not surprised.
The other wicked new band that the night threw up were the garage trio Mystified. Their frontwoman's coarse, wailing vocals packed so much punch that it was simply mesmerising, and the chemistry that she and the bassist have was something I've only really seen paralleled by American trio Ex Hex in a live environment. Ferocious, they sounded like a beautiful cross between comic goth era Horrors and The Seeds at their most psyched out, Mystified are really a band to keep your eye on, and if you live in London, a band to see as often as possible.
Three bands turned a humble little London pub into one big noise palace, and whilst Neon Violets, the headliners, were a seriously strong proposition, newcomers Melt Dunes and Mystified are two truly impeccable prospects for the future that I'm definitely gonna write about in my Bands To Watch in 2k16 post in a few weeks time (hear them both below).
(written by calum cashin)