The debut outing for Goatess in Manchester got off to a rocky start, running almost two hours late due to horrendous traffic issues for both Serpent Venom and the headliners. However, this didn’t seem to dampen the spirits early on and has now almost become etiquette for Star and Garter gigs.
The delay also provided some extra drinking time for the appropriately named Pist, who stood in last minute as Grimpen Mire were unfortunately unable to play. The local lads evidentially love the NOLA scene with Down in particular coming through in their groove heavy set. Although their sound is a very much tried and tested formula, the passion of the band was entirely evident and vocalist Dave Rowlands certainly warmed up the crowd well with his vigorous stage persona.
Followers Sigiriya were the first big draw of the night, containing ex members of the much loved Acrimony. Guitarist Stuart O’Hara has clearly spent a long time mastering the art of the riff and was the real driving force behind the band’s set with an evident love for what the whole ‘stoner rock’ sound encompasses. Clearly invigorated by their new album and recent deal with Candlelight Records, Sigiriya made sure everyone in the audience new their name by the end of their short set.
Things got much heavier for Serpent Venom’s set who were the only through and through doom band of the night. Also with a new album out this year, the band set out to prove why their name is so well regarded in the underground with new song ‘Let them Starve’ sounding absolutely gigantic in the live setting.
Serpent Venom also provided the slowest set of the night which seemed to provide a good contrast after the two faster paced sets of the previous bands. Doom is now completely overflowing with groups but London’s most lethal demonstrated that the simplest approach can often be the best.
After what looked like an ill timed gear issue, Sweden’s Goatess came onstage to close proceedings just after midnight. This was too late for some but for the dedicated that stayed a set of more ‘stoner’ influenced doom was executed with impressive precision.
Of course, the main drawing point for the band was doom vocalist extraordinaire Christian Linderson who has Lord Vicar and Saint Vitus amongst others on his CV. The vocalist had an impressive amount of energy for so late in the night and seemed full of humour even if it was difficult to understand what he was saying through the mic.
The music behind the vocals was certainly more than adequate and woke some of the members of the audience up when on a particularly high level of boogie. Headlining with one album was certainly a bold move by the band but evidentially paid off with a strong reaction greeting their final song.
A good mix of bands and a solid set of personalities made for a strong night for doom’s most frequently used venue in Manchester.
Scribed By: Alex Varley
Photos By: Lee Edwards