And So I Watch You From Afar
Newcastle, The Cluny
29 April 2014
A breathtaking performance played at breakneck speed that blows minds and eardrums alike. And So I Watch You From Afar are on fire tonight and Lee Hammond pays witness to it all.
As we descend the stairs into one of our favourite Newcastle venues, the whole building is being shook to its core by the raucous brutality of tonight’s support acts. We’re greeted by a sold out crowd going truly mental for Axis Of and the first thing that hits you is that these guys go hard. Their set is filled with no holds barred hardcore tunes and our ears are truly assaulted – in the best possible way of course.
This is just the warm-up, though, as yet to come are the monolithic Irish post rock gods that are And So I Watch You From Afar. With baited breath we wait as they make their way through the packed crowd and within moments of hitting the stage they’re off. The first song, Big Thanks Do Remarkable, is somewhere between post rock masterpiece and an Irish jig, the only thing better than the track is guitarist Rory’s accompanying jig.
The band truly are on fire and there’s no let up throughout the early part of tonight’s set. Their brutal, take no prisoners attitude sees them soaking from the end of the first track and so too are the crowd. Huge pits form in the tiny venue and it’s hard to see the band for the flying bodies.
Part way through the band takes time out for a crowd singalong in aid of bass player Jonny’s birthday. It goes some way towards explaining their exceptionally great mood this evening. The set is packed with tracks from all three of their albums and it’s hard to pick any real stand outs. Gang (Starting Never Stopping) though, is definitely up there – math rock at its absolute best.
The relentless pace leaves us out of breath and we’re just watching, so no wonder we’re full of admiration for these guys. After providing us with a true aural assault and packing so much into such a short space of time, the band are beckoned back to the stage by the horde of adoring fans. They finish up with crowd favourites Set Guitars To Kill and The Voiceless – an awesome way to close out what has been an amazing set.
We make our way back up the stairs, our ears ringing but filled with adoration. This has been one of the most exciting musical experiences in a long time; there are so few bands with this amount of raw power and such a brutal approach to music.
All words by Lee Hammond. You can check out more work by Lee by visiting his Louder Than War Author’s Archive here.