The Hungry Ghosts opened the night of noise, with their 'trash country/slaughterhouse blues' and effortless cool, they delivered a brilliantly violent set, with plenty of fuzz and intoxicating vocals. Frontman Joe Joseph had charisma oozing from every pore, strutting into the crowd, guitar aloft and smirking. After I had some time to digest the set, and have a listen to what I could on the band's soundcloud, they've got a new fan in me. It was refreshing to hear something new, something not just churned out run-of-the-mill music, but a band with bite. The Hungry Ghosts are a band I'll be keeping my eye on, the possibility of more music from them on the horizon is very exciting indeed.
INHEAVEN were next, with the sound of the 90's and a DIY ethos (they'd made zines to give out for free on the merch stall). Gloomy echoing vocals and dreamlike guitars forming a wall of sound, INHEAVEN were atmospheric and confident. At times cliché, but generally intriguing and reminiscent of shoegaze, they played an accomplished set. Hotly tipped INHEAVEN are bound to only grow as a band.
YAK thundered through their set with a brazen, relentless energy that was both impressive and intimidating. Playing their filthy sludge of rock and roll with lip-biting basslines and riotous drums, and snarling vocals over grubby guitar licks, YAK play a manic set. Disco balls are ripped from ceilings and crowdsurfing begins, YAK are best enjoyed in the pit, it seems. The shaggy haired trio were enthralling, frontman Oli Burslem spitting and screeching out lyrics. This tour is in support of their fantastic debut album Alas Salvation and the live setting showcased the tracks perfectly. It's guitar music at its best, tracks like No and Victorious (National Anthem) demonstrate that.
The performance is fresh, at points the band are just jamming out, you know they don't recreate the same show night after night. Venom drips from every instrument as each song is attacked with more ferocity than the one before it, they induce chaos in the best possible way. Loud and unforgiving, YAK were unpredictable and verging on unhinged, the momentum is maintained for the whole show. Transitions between songs were flawless, adding to the chopping nature of the music, delicate moments of quiet recklessly descend into furious, furious noise. The set ended abruptly, with the same aggression as it began, and the room was still abuzz with the excitement that had been induced. YAK are without a doubt one of the best live acts in the country currently, you better catch them before they blow up.
Words: Rachel Tindall