A Place To Bury Strangers
Newcastle, The Cluny
12th May 2012
Arriving at the venue slightly late, I just miss local support from Bison Hunting but from what I hear they played a good show. I did, however, manage to catch The Lucid Dream who have been tour support for APTBS. My first impressions led me to utter the line “It sounds like Liam Gallagher doing Suicide covers.”Â Make of that what you will. Clearly inspired by 60’s psychedelic and garage rock, they took the basic framework and made it into their own blend of loud, hazy psychedelic rock. Musically they were brilliant, I just think that nineties Britpop twang in the vocals put me off. Quite interested to hear how they develop their sound.
After a brief interlude, A Place To Bury Strangers take to the stage. All lights are turned low as they modestly pick up their instruments. Suddenly, a plume of smoke engulfs the band and they start playing. With an impressive lighting set up, the band feel almost ghostly on stage. They’re not there to be seen, only heard. Famously penned as the ”ËLoudest band in New York’, A Place To Bury Strangers certainly live up to that statement. They really do know how to make a noise, and a well orchestrated one at that. Despite the sheer volume, there is still a strong sense of melody and rhythm hidden underneath the noisy exterior.
Playing a set that encompassed both new and older material, it really shows how such a simple musical formula can lead to a diverse and intense set. Their sound is equal parts noise, shoegaze and psychedelic rock, which comes together to create a unique and powerful atmosphere. While the songs they play our loud, the energy of the band adds an additional depth to it. Throughout the entire show they’re throwing themselves, and their instruments, all over the stage. Not once letting up, they show a clear dedication to their art and by the looks of things, they’re having a lot of fun doing it.
However, the best part for me was the last 10 minutes. After playing a respectable set ranging their whole output, they really show us how much they love to make a noise. Strobe lights are picked up and carried around the stage and more smoke is funnelled out. Both vocal mics are dragged over to their amps giving a devastating effect on my ears. They begin a total aural assault, deconstructing all of that melody and rhythm they had before and looking to cause a beautifully noisy mess. It’s out of control and is incredible to witness. Guitar strings are ripped off, instruments are thrown around, amps are barged into and in the end, two lonely, battered guitars are left hanging by their tuning pegs on a wire above the stage. The audience are left deafened and the band leaves the stage, giving a small wave to the crowd as they exit. While the band members seem humble, the music they play doesn’t. My head is still pounding as I write this, surely a testament to how brutal they were. If you get a chance to see them live, don’t pass it up. It’s something that really needs to be experienced first hand to be understood and appreciated.