Camp & Furnace
Saturday 27th September 2014
The Wig Master gets trippy as he reviews the second day of Liverpool’s third International Festival of Psychedelia.
Moodoid – Camp
There’s a big fun element with this French 5-piece. All the band have the top half of their face painted gold and with a male guitar playing frontman and four girls there’s a bit Prince glam. It kicks off with a sort of Strawberry Switchblade hypno 80’s swing thing. A modern French Paisley Park interpretation of ’60s English pop. All the band look great but it’s brilliant to see such outstanding female musicians at this festival – at one point they’re all shouting in a deranged Slits kind of way. Then we’re given sweet harmonies and the word is WHIMSY. The whole things ends on what’s almost an African hi-life styled jam. Nice energy.
Pzykset – 7.5
Lay Llamas – Camp
Holding radios to mics for a Floyd styled stoned out introduction, from these Italian dream warriors, crescendonising into the Shamanic jungle and hitting us amidst the oil projections – Higher than the Sun style. Tomorrow never knows style. Then Instrumentals – Dead Skeletons repetition and grooves.. Great GROOVES and vocal effects . . Woooo’s and vocal chants. . . DRONE. . The two note drone that’s in your DNA observed really well. A funky mix of Can & Talking Heads but the Spoon / Mushroom Head, Suzuki chilled Can. Even New Order without the bass behaviour. Great to dance to – vocals unnecessary.
Pzykset – 9
Grumbling Fur – Furnace
Early 80’s Depeche Mode cruelty. Dreamy. Twee. Or as one of my partners in vibe eloquently put it – LIMP. Cheers Muggsy! And here’s that odd vocal effect pioneered by Brian Eno – not sure if it’s double tracking the same vocal or a close odd harmony but definitely Eno. Now we’ve got a song ending with Steve Reich style clapping. Oh come on, bloody move me ! The sound of music school graduates being naughty.
Pzykset – 4.5
Anthroprophh – Camp First thoughts from these Bristolian time travellers – I can hear J. Lydon, I can hear Hawkwind. Brilliant insistent riffs and soloing to the analogue borderline. Now huge fuck-off Stooges DUMB riff grooves. This is sublime. Angst and Hendrix; Space-rock workouts to melt your rubber brain. This is a fucking assault, a lysergic dirge. This is actually what wounded dinosaurs sound like with Burroughs bastard son serenading them; Ron Asheton playing the Aria, Bonham’s drum machine on percussion – arranged by La Monte Young in another dimension. Plus the deepest heaviest trouser flapping bass I’ve heard since Throbbing Gristle locked down the London Astoria. Ending with immaculate machine like Mother Skyled / Halleluhwah mind mashing jam. Went down a treat.
Pzykset – 9.5
Christian Bland & The Revelators – Furnace
Guitarist from Austin, Texas band the Black Angels pops up with his own psych band a standard 4 piece who start with a possible tribute to the start of the British influence on the pop/rock world. The Revelators give us a Shadows / Duane Eddy / Link Wray tune, could have been 1959 UK R’n’R. It could be from that lost Tarantino movie with the soundtrack that floored everyone. Now here’s some Velvet’s drone / treated vocal / sub Barrett, big 13th Floor Elevators feel, Seeds, Count Five et al. And then BANG! A triple early Floyd wig-out Astronomy Domine, Lucifer Sam and Intersteller Overdrive. Great! I’m sure a lot of the crowd didn’t realise the band were playing tunes from the very get-go of British Psych – which is fine as their set blended together quite seamlessly, but also in my book you have to respect the pioneers. They did the fucking dirty work so you could have the watered down hit singles.
Pzykset – 8
So here should be a review of GOAT, but we were denied access to the Furnace coz it was too full. Apparently it was brilliant – next time then. Anyway wasn’t overly bothered, there is so much excellent music here. All that hard work. All that knowledge. All that pain…and back to Camp.
White Hills – Camp
Last thing I checked before checking out. And it’s almost Space-Rock by numbers. That relentless autobahn beat – drum/bass locked into a tight groove and the guitar squalling through fuzz, phase, wah EQ shifts. To perfectly dislodge your shaky hold on surreality. CONCENTRATE. A 3 piece from California, female bass player / male singer, guitarist. Shades of a darker Spiritualised when they hit warp speed, who by turn took much from the ubiquitous Hawkwind and Tony Mcphee. The bass echo overload is always a nice touch and it means your precious aural perceivers aren’t completely annihilated by high freqs for ever and ever amen. Pzykset – 7.5 I personally had an amazing two days. I love this festival – the first shoots of the new underground in a great city and a great setting. Don’t tell the press or the hipsters. I’d like to see some live free jazz, maybe some dub reggae. It can go anywhere, but is there a danger of it it being reduced (like punk) to a homogenised idea of what (Psych) should sound like. Anyway Vive La Resistance ! And as the great Malcolm Mooney said – “Once I was blind now I see, you made a believer out of me”
All words by The Wig Master. More from The Wig Master can be found at his Louder Than War Author Archive.