19th March | Crofters Rights
Photos: Lindsay Melbourne
Phobophobes are absolutely rocking it right now. They released their awesome debut album, Miniature World at the end of January. They are currently on a tour of the UK, featuring an appearance at the 100 Club, no less. And their stop at Crofters Rights on Monday did not disappoint.
After an energetic set from Oregon’s Wooden Indian Burial Ground, Peckham five-piece, YOWL took to the stage and kicked things up a notch. Their rough, gnarly tracks transported us straight into the currently-thriving post-punk South London soundscape, transforming Crofters Rights into the Windmill in Brixton. Snarling vocals from front man, Gabriel Byrde got the room raring.
The jangly guitar riffs and cutting lyrics of ‘My Headache Likes To Speak’ will have stayed lodged in many brains long after the set was over. Hopefully they will come back to Bristol soon and give us a full-blown headline slot of their own. In the meantime, they are set to join Phobophobes again this week at the Boileroom in Guildford and the 100 Club in London.
The room emptied briefly, as gear was switched over on stage. After a break at the bar and a chat with YOWL on the Stokes Croft kerb outside, the intro to swaggering, psychedelic ‘Miniature World’ blasted out of the dark venue. The crowd flocked in and refilled it in seconds.
The six members of Phobophobes (named after the fear of being afraid) crammed onto the stage and blasted out the first few tracks back to back. ‘The Never Never’ came stomping in second, followed by the dark, bluesy jam ‘Mama Power’. Everyone in the room seemed to be moving to the rolling tom-heavy groove of Dan Lyons’ drums (originally from Fat White Family).
Frontman Jamie Taylor stared at the back of the room as he murmured the ear-catching ‘Single Mother, Mother Earth’, whilst guitarists Christo McCracken and Jack Fussey swayed around him. The room was hot, loud, dark and jammed with moving bodies. I remember thinking this was the best vibe I’d experienced in ages.
After a psychedelic, drone-like jam zoned the crowd out and into a trance, the huge, distorted bass-driven ‘No Flavour’ shook the room. This was definitely a turning point for the show. From this point on, the front half of the room didn’t stop moving.
Chris OC’s trippy organ in the raw, psychy ‘Free The Naked Rambler’ brought things down before the mighty final tune ‘Where Is My Owner’ excited the crowd to the brink of moshing. Bede Trillo’s solid, growly bass tone was irresistible.
Phobophobes were on excellent form, and with a set as loaded with belting tunes as theirs, it made for a seriously impressive show. Make sure to catch them next time they are in the city, and tell your friends in Oxford and London as they finish off their current sling of dates.