How your tastes change over time is a funny old thing. Take point with tonight’s headliner Undersmile: I couldn’t get into it at all the first time I saw them live. But three years later, my musical taste had changed over time, I was more into sludge and doom metal and tonight I was returning a fan.
Opener Goat Monsoon unfortunately had to pull out of tonight, so opening the show were Sky:Lark who had not played Colchester since May 2014. Playing material from their new LP, opener ‘Inner Ear Destruction’, set the bar for an incredibly energetic and charming set. Frontman Johnbear was grinning throughout the set while dressed like Andrew W.K. with his white shirt and long hair. Smashing through an exceedingly enjoyable set, Sky:Lark won new fans that day. Yes there were a few mistakes and Johnbear’s guitar string snapped but ultimately, they were a great opening band.
Playing their first Colchester gig for what seemed like an eternity, local heroes Meadows played material from their splits with Slabdragger, Chestburster and Sky:Lark plus material from their own EP. Meadows simply smashed it and then some. You could tell everyone in the room had been looking forward to this for ages, with human pyramids and enthusiastic fans upfront. It was such a joy to see them again. “This next one goes out to the University of Essex Punk Society who smashed a kitchen to this song” said guitarist Chris Moore who added “This one is called smash the kitchen”. The intro riff to ‘Super Thunder Blade’ kicked in and the venue erupted, it was clear they’ve still got it. Ending with ‘Loaded to the Gunwales,’ Meadows proved once again why they are so loved. Quality music made by quality people.
Meadows Set List:
Head of Henry Grey
Earthhorn 10000 B.C.
Howell of the Wind
I Am Stone Head
Super Thunder Blade
Loaded to the Gunwales
Finally it was time for the main event, doom heroes Undersmile. They created an undeniable atmosphere: heavy, dark but enthralling. Every drum crash sent shockwavess throughout the venue. The bass vibrations were seismic and guitar and vocal combinations were electrifying. As dark and oppressive doom and drone can be, Undersmile’s music at parts are often very beautiful and inspiring, it’s well crafted and the tonal shifts don’t feel forced. Three years ago if you would have told me I would have been a fan of Undersmile, owning a hoodie and an album, I would have told you that would be ridiculous. But now I can scream from the rooftops that Undersmile are an amazing live act. Great night.
You can read our chat with Undersmile before the show here.