Gurt; BongCauldron; PIST; Bacchus Baracus
Bannermann’s, Edinburgh, 04/03/15
It’s fair to assume from tonight’s line-up the main concerns of this evening will be head-banging and boozing. An assumption which is soon confirmed by Glasgow’s hard-rocking and self-proclaimed hard-partying Bacchus Barachus. Delivering crunchy grooves around the general themes of drinking, rocking and smoking in various combinations, this stoner-influenced four-piece may not have the most memorable songs around, but succeed in setting the pace for the rest of night. Having lead-vocals provided by the drummer adds an interesting dynamic, and the lack of a traditional centre-stage frontman doesn’t detract from the performance, with the enthusiasm of all members helping to maintain the band’s presence. Whisky-drenched, good-time heavy rock…but not entirely memorable – such is usually the case with the aforementioned (7/10).
Truly embracing the novelty of being in Scotland, Bury’s PIST stumble onto the stage next, Buckfast proudly in hand, beginning what will be a pretty questionable half hour. The young band’s recently repressed EP Riffology suggests good things but unfortunately, though there’s a number of undeniably decent riffs in there somewhere, the songs are overshadowed by vocalist Dave’s incoherent screeching and slurred stage-patter. In fairness, the band can hardly be accused of false advertising; but rather than offering the crowd-pleasing hard-partying/hard-rocking formula, PIST are instead just and only that: pissed. Go to bed boys, you’re wasting my time (5/10).
Taking charge, the mighty BongCauldron show Bannermann’s largest crowd of the night how it’s done, reverb turned-up and riffs coming thick and heavy. The doomy riffs and speedier, potentially neck-damaging sections, are melded together with an expectedly stoner groove, while maintaining a surging heavy quality. Newer and older tracks are equally well-received throughout what feels like a five minute set, but none more so than final number Tree Wizard. A doom cult classic in the making, this ode to, what the band have helpfully described as, “a living tree that is also a wizard,” is catchier than blight and has the crowd revelling in its sludgy groove. BongCauldron not only have one of the best names going, but soon one of the biggest. Well, in terms of stoned-out sludge at least…(8.5/10).
Speaking of good names, ‘Gurt’ itself might not be one, but their delightful opener 8 Out of 10 Cunts does the job, and moreover commences a pummelling sludge set; the heavy guitar and deep bass, countered by harsher vocals which add a little bit more grit and bite to this viscous swap of sound. The individual tracks aren’t as distinguishable as those of the previous set, but those still standing, stumbling and, inevitably falling aren’t bothered by this point and Gurt receive a deservedly rapturous response. Though only the second night of their ‘Filthy Three’ mini-tour with BongCauldron and PIST however, it’s probably for the best there is only a week more of shows around the UK…catch all three now while they’re still functioning and undetained! (7.5/10).