One of the loveliest things about living on the South East coast of the UK is the abundance of small, independent music venues, which never cease to provide a space for both international, and local bands alike, to come together with an audience and share all their musical musings. Within twenty minutes of my own doorstep, there are three truly impressive locations, all of which play home to all matter of weird and wonderful acts indeed.
So, knowing just how rich the catalogue of acts who are lining up at the likes of tonight’s venue are, it’s only a matter of time before you are purchasing tickets to catch one of your favourite bands, playing an intimate show, just ready for you to stare in amazement at. Today’s venue, in case you were wondering, is the Ramsgate Music Hall, an incredible venue, hidden spectacularly within Kent’s Thanet region.
In all my time attending this venue, I have seen the likes of BigIBrave, A.A.Williams, and the fantastic Bob Mould grace the stage here, to name a few. Tonight though, it’s home again, for the return of the first band I saw at Ramsgate Music Hall, the week before the first wave of lockdowns, back in March 2020, and that is local hoodlums, the incredible sludge overlords, Ohhms.
Back before the world went mad, I got to see Ohhms giving a truly vicious performance, and so to catch them again, on their home turf, was an opportunity not to be missed. Back then, the band had recently released the juggernaut that is Exist unto the world, and the show was just as visceral as the release had been.
Since that point, I have been completely hooked on the band, and I’ve had the honour of reviewing their most recent album, Close for The Sleeping Shaman., I also got to have a little Q and A with the band’s horror film loving, podcast producing, all round enigma, Paul Waller, which too, was for The Sleeping Shaman. After catching the band again at 2021’s Portal Festival, expectations were understandably high, so the return to Ramsgate was long overdue.
Staff Party, keep an eye out for the name, they’re going to be heavyweights in no time…
First up to the stage, in support, was brand new Brighton three-piece Staff Party. Considering just how new they are, any doubt as to how good they were going to be was quickly dispelled, as they thundered through an impressive set, worthy of support to the main act. Staff Party, keep an eye out for the name, they’re going to be heavyweights in no time.
Following a brief reset on stage, Ohhms took to the platform, and after a brief warm introduction, they swiftly tore the roof off of the place with a barrage of new material and a few choice cuts thrown in for good measure. Classics such as Firearms and newer tracks, like Alive!, were thrown into the mix, alongside some new treats as they premiered several brand-new cuts from the next Ohhms recorded outing, Rot, due in March 2023. The band literally throat punched the audience with these new works, taking no prisoners, and leaving a trail of destruction behind them.
The band literally throat punched the audience with these new works, taking no prisoners, and leaving a trail of destruction behind them…
Having put together a set where anything might happen, new tracks such as Eaten Alive were warmly received. To be watching the band throw themselves into their performance was truly glorious to watch, even if the threat of being knocked sideways at any moment was ever present.
Always a band of the people, Waller is as eloquent as ever between songs, and watching his performance on stage is always so engaging. Add to that bassist Chainey’s want to be in the middle of the action at every given opportunity, the line between band and audience is non-existent, and you can’t help but be swept up in it all.
Again, as with every time I’ve seen them perform, the recently released The Mephisto Waltz got an airing, and with it, the band turned from one beast and evolved into something altogether much more savage. To see the band so focused, and compounded as a unit, is awesome to witness.
To see the band so focused, and compounded as a unit, is awesome to witness…
By the end of the set, cries for ‘more!’, rang out, and the band happily obliged, with one last kick to the stomach, before heading out. After now having seen the band three times, there are certain things I can guarantee at an Ohhms show…
Firstly, involvement, and focus, are a standard. Ohhms are all encompassing, you are at one with them. Secondly, the intensity, and dedication, is second to none. This band want to perform, and they want to put a show on for each and every little thing in the room, no matter how big, or how small. Thirdly, if you want to witness genuine, honest, blood, sweat, and tears heavy music, delivered with face-melting prowess, then you must see this band live.
if you want to witness genuine, honest, blood, sweat, and tears heavy music, delivered with face-melting prowess, then you must see this band live…
Ohhms are one of the UK’s most criminally underrated bands, and are fully deserving of any attention they get, and then so much more. If you haven’t seen Ohhms perform yet, you need to get tickets when they come to town and make sure you tell all your friends. You won’t be disappointed.
Words & Photos by: Lee Beamish