There couldn’t have been a better setting for this gig than the basement of The Exchange (unless someone dragged a PA system out into a ditch and put out some flattened cardboard for a stage). This long, narrow, dimly lit venue was packed out from the front of the stage to the edge of the bar with a mismatch of winter coats, leather jackets and meticulously combed hair.

The room got crammed as streams of people pushed themselves through the crowd, dragging their mate in some sort of daisy chain of people – eager to get to the front, jump around and punch one another. The band quickly knocked out ‘Digsaw’ and ‘Burn out the Bruise’ seeing to it that the crowd received their one-of-a-kind, crazy, surf-doom fix – a blend of stylistic ‘doom’ feel and rhythm underneath, with high surf tone guitar twang and whammy covered with shouts and screams. They chucked together a set comprised of old and new material, frantic, high energy songs which flowed into the slower, mellower songs like ‘She’s so far out’ and ’Weights and Ties’. Newer songs like ‘Gravedweller’ and ‘Carnival Law’, that were pushed hard with free cassette tapes and free downloads probably due to the bands new record deal, were received well. The energy of the entire set maintained a steady high, fuelling the front rows to throw themselves into each other, contrasting with the calmness of the performance on stage – except for guitarist-singer’s Kristian Bell’s arm flailing, body contorting guitar playing.

Their closing song saw the crowd erupt into one final burst of energy – the night drew to an end. A mob of deaf, sweaty and limping gig-goers swarmed the drags of the merch table for t-shirts, EP’s and a singular book by Jay-Z, finally climbing the shoulder-width staircase, up into the cold, fresh air outside.

Needless to say, it was extremely memorable, and with Big Jeff in attendance you can guarantee it was a great gig.


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