The Star & Garter, Manchester 25/11/08
Off to the fabled Star & Garter, rising out of the Victorian filth of Piccadilly like…er…a pub. First band on this crackling bill, Rise To Thunder, played for about half an hour and sent huge tremors of amplified bliss through my reptile brain like a syringe full of serotonin. Muff’s pounding of the drum kit was a naked show of primal libidinous energy. And he had an old Amebix t-shirt on. How impressive is that. The guitars of Dan and Al were two sonic snakes, spitting and hissing, striking out and biting the sizeable crowd on their filthy heads. Neurone fried desert rock, boiling and erupting out into the long room. Clever riffs and even cleverer little solos that wriggled up my spine and coiled around both hemispheres. Peet stood centre stage like a small hairy colossus, anchoring down a sound that you just know is going to grow and grow.
We had to wait for the Italians, but they came. Lento blasted off with ‘Hadrons’ like a fucking cosmic dragster of death, all adrenaline gibbon grins and string grating hyper fury. There seemed to be hundreds of them, although there were five. Such was there unbridled energy and sheer lust for aural attack. Twenty minutes of condensed savagery that omitted the post rock atmospheres of ‘Earthen’ and went straight for the throat. The sound tonight was nigh perfect, treble and bass beautifully balanced. What a bloody credit to the sound man/people/things.
Ufomammut are the crowned princes of psychometallic stoner sludge. They chew up the bass of Lemmy in Hawkwind, the vocals of Al Jourgensen in Ministry, pulverising sub-industrial rhythms and viciously churning hypnotic down-tuned riffing and spit out the most perfect band that has ever walked the earth. Kicking off with the groaning electric riff cycle of ‘Stigma’, they roared through a throbbing set that was mostly sucked from ‘Idolum’.
Urlo’s bulbous bass rumble was a mighty rocket engine in a head mangling Martian bulldozer. Rose Kemp climbed on the tiny stage to wail with a profoundly pained beauty, like a mad women of the moors, on the slow building paean to anguish that is ‘Ammonia’. Ufomammut played for one hour, then after several false endings mutated from the sprawling ‘Elephantom’, bowed to the loving crowd and sloped off. I would have been quite happy to listen to them play until the sun rose. Fucking monumental. Hurrah for music and drugs.
Scribed by: Adam Stone
Photos by: Lee Edwards