Wyatt went barreling into the audience to instigate the first of several intensely violent mosh pits.
As I rushed to the Louisiana besieged by the characteristic icy torrents of Bristol rain, there was one thought that kept me from immediately turning back and seeking the comfortable refuge of my bed – The Garden were playing Bristol.
In the past few months the internet has been hyping this twin two-piece, partly to do with their characteristic androgynous look that has captured the eye of fashion designers like the iconic Hedi Slimane, but mostly for their own brand of wild genre-defying electro-punk that is experimental and exhilarating in equal measure. I was fascinated to see how this anarchic sound would translate in a live setting and I was certainly in for a treat.
As The Garden swooped onto the stage, they immediately launched into their performance, thrashing and convulsing at their instruments without so much as a warning. Throughout their set this theme continued, as bassist and vocalist Wyatt Shears would scream some lyrics, before both twins launched into the corresponding track with an almost telepathic co-ordination, flying through songs like ‘Surprise’ and ‘Cloak’ at breakneck speed. This harsh briskness seemed to characterize their music as a whole, as the entire set felt like whirlwind of sound from start to finish. Despite this electrifying cacophony of sound the crowd seemed pretty inanimate, that is until Wyatt went barreling into the audience to instigate the first of several intensely violent mosh pits that resulted in audience members unintentionally falling into and dismantling the equipment on the stage.
One particular highlight of the gig was the encore, and more specifically the song ‘The Apple’ that repeats the surreal lyrics ‘Have you ever seen an apple walking around?’. In this song the theatrical capacity of Wyatt’s voice was perfectly showcased as the repetition allowed for copious vocal experimentation. The acerbic drums and driving bass line of the song also encouraged the audience to lose their shit as the brutality of the moshing sharply intensified.
As well as their music, watching The Garden was an experience in itself as the pure energy of the duo was apparent. From Fletcher Shears the drummer climbing onto any available piece of equipment, be it his drums or an amp, to Wyatt Shears being violently pummeled in his own audience, this gig was one that left a special mark on me, that is to say a massive bruise on my collarbone.
Check out ‘The Apple’ right here: