The Wytches | Live Review


Photo (c) Laure Noverraz

It’s a euphoric coming up for air as we’re left running on the adrenaline in our veins

With a chill winter slapping us about the face, The Wytches descended upon The Louisiana to bring a chaotic autumn to an explosive climax. It’s been an eventful year for the surf-doom trio, culminating in a successful UK tour to promote their freshly released, much anticipated new EP ‘Thunder Lizard’s Reprieve’.

Supporting them on tour, fellow Brighton reprobates Black Honey burn bright in their opening set. I defy you not to find yourself instantly hooked by their sensual blend of pop-leaning shoegazer-grunge, dripping with a darkly intoxicating Americana appeal and immensely catchy hooks. This band have been tipped as ones to watch in 2016 and you better get to know. Frontwoman Izzy swings a serious axe whilst asserting doe-eyed confidence as only true femme fatales know how.

Second onstage tonight are Traams. This three piece smash out an intensely focused British brand of krautrock. The thundering rhythm section is flanked by bass that’s linear in its relentless, post-punk aggression, with deranged guitar and vocals that echo of early Modest Mouse. It’s a frenetic performance which leaves the audience buzzing.

The sold-out venue of The Louisiana is already jostling for position by the time The Wytches arrive onstage. Sweaty, intimate gigs like this are what the Wytches relish with their moody, snarling performances where they can really work the crowd into a frenzy, and tonight is to be no exception. Opening with ‘C-Side’ and album favourite ‘Wide at Midnight’, the tightly packed room suddenly gives way to a whirlpool of a moshpit and an avalanche of wild, drunken youths charge the tiny stage, falling hysterically in a sprawling heap at singer Kristian’s feet. Unfazed, particularly by consistent cries of ‘WIRE FRAME MATTRESS!’ the band plough into a set favouring few other album favourites such as ‘Gravedweller’ and more lesser known territory.

New EP track ‘Wasteybois’ goes down a treat – a raucous, hardcore-edged belter of a tune that takes peoples legs out from underneath them. Unleashing it alongside slow burner ‘DADFAC’, we seem to glimpse the band exploring ever heavier, doomier riffage. Pulling the audience back into a choke-hold sway, the heart wrenching ‘Summer Again’ displays the variation of great songwriting the band is capable of. No time for sad dreaming though as the band launch quickly into the equally as hypnotic and menacing ‘Robe For Juda’, which ensures the destruction and bruised knees of the entire front row and quite possibly a few lost teeth as crowd surfers gleefully throw themselves as far as they can without bouncing off the low ceiling.

Ending on the super bass-heavy bop-along ‘Tricks and Dance’, The Wytches exit the stage in a distorted fuzz of feedback and skewed PA speakers. It’s a euphoric coming up for air as we’re left running on the adrenaline in our veins. Undoubtedly, 2016 is going to herald some interesting developments for the band – here’s hoping to see them cook up more of their subjective take on surf-meets-doom-garage rock as we follow them there.

Listen to and download the new track ‘Wasteybois’ that they’ve made available for free here: