The Wytches: Liverpool Sound City – live reviewThe Wytches

Liverpool Sound City

1st May 2014

It’s a riot in here.

Totally packed, the whole room is going crazy to an indie band who have discovered the power of  rock and roll and combined the two into an aural gelignite that is going to cause a riot of their own revoltion in the next few months.

Signed to Heavenly Records they are yet another trump card for the label that we have said a lot of times, is on a real roll.

The label, run by the effervescent Jeff Barrett, is right at the heart beat of modern British indie music- the melting pot of guitars, energy and cool with a tripped out sense of dislocation that makes al great guitar music.

After 20 plus years of being on the well trimmed fringes of British indie with key signings like St Etienne and Manic Street Preachers it suddenly seems to have arrived right at the heart of the action with nearly all the key bands at once like Toy, Temples and many others and now the Wytches joing an amazing rosta of bands.

Last December I was in Seattle doing a piece on Nirvana and Subpop and I went to interview the Subpop people in their huge new office which was buzzing with every kind of music and release apart from, ironically, grunge- I askd them if they had any grunge bands and they said that gruunge was now sadly a dead scene.

At that very minute you kind of realised you were on the cusp of a grunge revival- for surely the minute a scene is dead it flares up somewhere else. The great thing about the youth is that it never plays by the rules- it plays by its own rules and The Wytches are no exception.

In a flurry of hair the band are tearing it up in here. Of course they are not grunge per se- this is their own guitar hussle but their sound, that has  been assimilated by the new youth on mp3s and the internet and the technological word of mouth has toughened up and gone more muscular and explosive.

Tonight they might not be technically be a grunge band but this gig reminds me of a very full version of that famous Nirvana gig I saw in New York City in 1989 when Cobain’s banddelivered  the future to 10 people in the room and a year later chnaged rock music for ever.

The Wytches have the same sort of feral power and melodic prowess as Nirvana- they havethe  determined explosive power of that band which is fantastically going against the grain and is completely capable of upsetting the apple cart. They reinvent rock as rock- not as easy as it sounds- they take an ancient electric music form and make it sound fresh and new and they have the explosive energy to turn rooms like this into seething joyful and packed moshpits as the ever increasing audience gets in on the secret.

The Wytches have the songs, the intensity, the energy and above all the hair to set fire to the suburbs and beyond- the hinterland of bored youth looking for an electric band to rally around and feel alive to. A new mini revolution in the endless revolutions of rock that the older genrations will be cursed to miss forever. If we are in luck the Wytches are the sound of the next future – a  thrilling, sweltering riot of noise, guitars and songs that have the potential to be part of the DNA of the next generation of youth to fall in love with the electric thrill of guitar, bass and drums.

The Wytches are casting a spell on a generation…

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Award winning journalist and boss of Louder Than War. In a 30 year music writing career, John was the first to write about bands such as Stone Roses and Nirvana and has several best selling music books to his name. He constantly tours the world with Goldblade and the Membranes playing gigs or doing spoken word and speaking at music conferences.


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