Desertfest London 2017: Saturday Preview

Naturally, Saturday follows Friday (who knew?) and, just as naturally, the following day of Desertfest is as stonking, if not more, as the Friday. Today the stages are overflowing with more riffs than an Orange Goblin album and a flare for all things super heavy. You cannot go wrong with a line-up like this but, on the assumption you are scratching your head as to where to spend the time, MetalRecusants will once again list some acts you would be utterly crazy to miss out on!

Today The Quietus Stage has it all, from sludge to heady psych rock. But when a band boasts a member from the legendary Alabama Thunderpussy, you have to question: why would I miss out on this? Pennsylvania’s Backwoods Payback are one such band, and yes this inclusion makes them pretty damn mighty! With stoner riffs and intoxicating grooves busting your veins open and leaving your neck bruised and battered, this power trio will leave you hungry for the rest of the day’s action.

And as it happens, Wales’ up-and-coming psychedelic-doom titans Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard is just the ticket to slow things down but remain ear-shatteringly heavy. Lulling the audience into a state of hypnotic euphoria is exactly what this band are capable of and with one of the best doom albums of 2016 under their belt – Y Proffwyd Dwyll – this is one cult everyone should be keeping their ears and eyes on (even if you don’t, Jessica Ball’s voice will snare you in anyway).

With most festivals, the most thunderous are left for the very last and today is no exception: Earth Ship will no doubt lay waste to The Black Heart! This German crew carry enough weight behind their sludgy doom riffs to cause the ground to shake which, given the audience, is exactly what will happen. Their latest album, Hollowed, is available to deafen all around you now on Napalm Records and will be a delight for fans of Mastodon.

Looks can be deceiving and San Francisco’s Brume will be no exception to the rule as they bring the HDP WPC stage down with their brand of crushing-yet-majestic doom. Relatively new with only an EP released, 2015’s Donkey, it will be a treat to see these young upstarts capture the hearts and souls at The Underworld. They also feature ex-Gurt guitarist Jamie McCathie amongst their ranks just to give you an idea of how heavy the band can get.

And speaking of heavy, who couldn’t be more excited to see Richmond’s Inter Arma? With one of 2016’s best albums across the wide spectrum that is heavy metal, Paradise Gallows, these guys ferociously blend post-metal with sludge in a way very few bands seem to nail; their sound is utterly monstrous as well as downright haunting and will no doubt lay waste to an eager crowd on the day. Fans of Neurosis and Cult of Luna will have an absolute blast with these guys.

Of course, today is all about the much sought after return of the mighty Bongzilla, who will be making their first of two performances (yes, you read that right) headlining The Underworld. Tonight’s set will boast an all-out affair with the band’s earlier work so be sure to brace yourselves with weed, some T.H.C, and plenty of Mary Jane! If there is any band worthy to be dubbed the kings of cannabis-infused heavy music it is these guys! This is one insane show you will not want to miss out on.

Saturday’s main stage is principally a ride through America’s desert. Opening the final day at the Electric Ballroom are a band amongst California’s new breed of rockin’ cruisers Avon. Though you may be unfamiliar with this collective you will definitely recognise the band’s resume, including Yawning Man, QOTSA, Airbus, and Waxy. On record their experience comes directly to the front, wielding smooth guitar passages, trippy lyrics and hallucinogenic vocals; this may prove to be a surprise outing that will rustle a few feathers.

Potentially stealing the spotlight on the main stage are the rabble-rousers of Black Spiders, who will be making this their last ever London show. Truly a band who need no introduction, this bunch of misfits manage to make rock-with-your-c*ck-out music actually sound entertaining and fun and not just as some crude callback to the ‘80s. It’s sad to see this party come to an end, so be sure to clock in for one last shot (or five) with Sheffield’s most provocative crew.

Proving to us all why he is the undisputed king of desert rock (no matter how much he would object), John Garcia’s solo outing and second of the weekend is why he gets the final mention. With a new solo acoustic record out under the guise of The Coyote Who Spoke In Tongues, Garcia will transport the audience to a night deep within his wild domain, whilst no doubt providing new translations of Kyuss classics amongst his own. It will make for an intimate spellbinding evening before the onslaught of the night’s headliners…

For all things Desertfest London, visit their official website.

About Jamie (14 Articles)
When you follow the smoke to the riff-filled land, odds are you will find Jamie on his infinite quest for some excellent music, usually down the traditional pathways of heavy/doom metal but increasingly leaning toward the retro climes of the ‘new classic rock.’ The soundtrack, however, is a healthy mixture of music not limited to the riff. Guided by cultural thought, the Doors, alcohol, and Tom Waits, Jamie spends a lot of his time contemplating modern life and moaning about how clean and pretty rock music has become. A student of film studies, you’ll often find Jamie consuming a vast archive of cinema from all manners of nations, styles and periods, often shifting from contemporary Japanese cinema to occult horror and from awful trash to the gritty New Hollywood films and everything in between.

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