BPREVIEW: Beyond the Tracks @ Eastside Park 15-17.09.17

BPREVIEW: Beyond the Tracks @ Eastside Park 15-17.09.17

Words by Damien Russell & Paul Gallear

Birmingham’s Beyond the Tracks festival is set to take over the Eastside City Park, outside Millennium Point, from the 15th to the 17th of September.

This new three day addition to the Birmingham festival scene has a stellar line-up and caters for an eclectic audience incorporating rock, britpop, dance, electronica and more. And it’s not just music that’s on offer, the festival website boasts a ‘great selection of gourmet caterers to suit all tastes and appetites’ as well as ‘a choice of well stocked and well staffed bars’ which, while not essential for the festival experience, will certainly be reassuring for some (me included).

Beyond the Tracks is one of the biggest city centre festivals this year and although there’s no camping, being just five minutes from Moor Street Station the transport access is good enough to take away the sting of the daily ‘commute’. For direct festival info, including more about getting on and off site, click here. For information and online bookings for all Birmingham city centre stations (Moor Street, New Street and Snow Hill) click here to visit Trainline.com

On Friday 15th September the gates will open at 14:00 and this is definitely your day if you like electronic music. Orbital, reunited and with a new track released this February, are the headliners – with Leftfield performing their 1995 album Leftism in full as part of their anniversary tour. There will be a DJ set BPREVIEW: Leftfield @ Beyond the Tracks - Friday 15th Septemberfrom electronica stalwarts Faithless, with Australia’s Jagwar Ma also providing a touch of psychedelia to the Friday night bill.

Beyond the Tracks opening night also sees the return of the Higher Intelligence Agency (HIA) to our city’s soundsytems, who will no doubt bring the old ambient/Oscillate crowd out from under whatever chamomile flavoured rock of lost serotonin they are currently resting – Birmingham Review’s editor included. HIA are also hosting an unofficial after party at Centrala on Friday night, for direct info click here.

On Saturday and Sunday the gates open at midday, with both days set to have a more rock-based line up. There are also a number of notable local names across the weekend, including Saturday’s headliners – britpop veterans Ocean Colour Scene.

Saturday daytime the event openers are Penkridge based indie-rockers Sugarthief, who have had an impressive festival run this year including Y Not and Kendal Calling. They are followed by ‘experimental’ Birmingham band Health & Efficiency who make me think of what indie would sound like if it were invented in the 80’s. Noise punk fuzz merchants Table Scraps are up next, who recently spoke to our own Ed King at their recent double a-side launch with Black Mekon at the Hare & Hounds – click here for the Birmingham Review of the gig, alongside links to the full interview.

BPREVIEW: Table Scraps @ Beyond the Tracks - Saturday 16th SeptemberAlso performing across the Saturday programme are The Americas, with their driving up-tempo rock (reminiscent of Tom Petty) describing themselves as ‘music to ride a motorbike to’. Then there’s Midlands based artfully crafted classic college-rock quartet Superfood and B-Town indie-pop rockers Jaws, both coming back to Birmingham after some significant success outside the city walls. The Twang, who are celebrating the ten-year anniversary of their debut album Love It When I Feel Like This, Maxïmo Park – touring following the release or their 2017 album Rick To Exist – and The Coral complete an indie side to the day’s line-up. To read Damien Russell’s Birmingham Review of Risk To Exist, click here.

For those still craving more following all that, there is an after party running from 23:00 to 03:00 at the O2 Institute featuring a DJ set from Maxïmo Park, Blast Off DJs and Dave Southam of Snobs – click here for more details or check out the banner ad below.

For those not exhausted by the previous two days partying, Sunday is a more eclectic line-up with artists such as Scottish 80’s alternative rockers The Jesus and Mary Chain – touring their new album Damage and Joy, Reading’s shoegaze rockers Slowdive – promoting their eponymous album (the first for twenty-two years) and Birmingham’s own Editors bringing the proceedings to a close.

Beyond the TracksBPREVIEW: Slowdive @ Beyond the Tracks - Sunday 17th September‘ final day will be opened by Dorcha – ‘a five piece Birmingham band of synths, strings, electronics and heavy beats led by composer Anna Palmer’. Then throughout Sunday we will see sets from Victories at Sea – described by The Guardian as ‘dolorous indie disco with a fresh spin’, Goodnight Lenin – who have recently announced they are recording their second album, and psychedelic industrial rockers BLACKASH.

I think it would be fair to say that there is something for everyone on the Beyond the Tracks bill and seeing big national names with current tours/releases lined up side by side with solid local acts is a pleasure. The organisers seem to have considered every act and made sure they all have a connection to the area or to the 2017 music scene – an attention to detail that bodes well for the wider event.

Speaking of the wider event, while information is a little sparse the promotional video for the festival (link below) goes into a little more about what non-music elements we can expect. There is the promise of ‘fine ales, imported lagers, craft beers, scrumpy cider shack, quality cocktails and fine wines & fizz’ for the drinkers, alongside the aforementioned ‘gourmet street food & snacks’ to soak it all up with and and keep you going.

Then for those moments when the music has got a bit too much, we have some ‘cabaret side shows and walkabouts’ for the grown ups. Not a lot on the programme for children though, with the Beyond the Tracks organsisers issuing the following statement:

‘The event is aimed at an adult audience. There will not be any specific children’s entertainment on site with the focus primarily on the music itself. That said, we are keen not to exclude anyone from the event so have not set an arbitrary age limit for this year. However, all persons do require a full ticket for the event regardless of age’.

But seriously, who under the age of… is going to be losing it to Orbital or The Jesus and Mary Train? Also worth noting Beyond the Tracks has a no re-entry policy and once you’re in, you’re in. Although with a line-up like this I can’t see why anyone would possibly want to be ‘out’.

Beyond the Tracks 2017 – Official Trailer

Tickets for this event are £54.45 for individual day tickets, £145 for a weekend pass, and £11 for the Saturday night after party at the O2 Institute. 

For more on Beyond the Tracks, including full festival details and online ticket sales, visit www.beyondthetracks.org

BPREVIEW: Beyond the Tracks - after party @ O2 Institute 16..09.17

BREVIEW: Table Scraps + Black Mekon @ Hare & Hounds 27.04.17

BREVIEW: Table Scraps + Black Mekon @ Hare & Hounds 27.04.17 / James ThomasWords by Ed King / Pics by James Thomas / Video by Trapeze Film

*Birmingham Review caught up with Table Scraps just before the doors opened. To watch our interview with the band click here, or on the YouTube window at the end of this BREVIEW*

There are more qualified people here tonight, than I. As the evening rolls out conversations about blues, rock, blues rock, punk, rockabilly and the hangover of Ozzy Osbourne (figuratively), I stand on the periphery looking in. My extensive knowledge of the Tori Amos back catalogue won’t help me here.

Luckily, I have Damien Russell: drinking companion, back up wordsmith and the Cyrano de Bergerac of American blues and pan Atlantic punk. All the informed references come from him. The visceral reactions (which you could argue are just as punk as punk) and tired metaphors, they come from me.

A packed room cut in half, the Hare & Hounds Venue 2 (minus the back bar..?) is comfortably crowded as Black Mekon take the stage – and I mean take, jumping more than any men in matching jackets and Kato masks may have ever jumped before. A searing harmonica cuts over a steady, kick, drum… in a barrage of twisted blues. Strings break, shoulder straps break, speaker stacks hiss; the bouncing boy to my left is told politely “…ok, ok.” Reds, greens and dry ice take us into a double jab at “the welfare state” as short blast songs punch their way around an eagerly complicit crowd. “You’ve got to understand, Black Mekon can’t die.” The room continues to fill.BREVIEW: Table Scraps + Black Mekon @ Hare & Hounds 27.04.17 / James Thomas

As Round One comes to a close we make a short trip through doors not meant for us, past a cigarette, then into a curiously quiet downstairs bar; maybe amphetamine is making a comeback. “Do you get the feeling if Nick Cage was to start a punk band…” offers Damien, as I write down perhaps the only intelligent part of my summary.

Some more conversations about Americana, blues and the relevance of territory and skin colour, then back up stairs for Round Two – or Table Scraps, as the bill poster presents them. I feel somewhat more confident as I do know some, not BREVIEW: Table Scraps + Black Mekon @ Hare & Hounds 27.04.17 / James Thomasall, but enough Table Scraps songs to confidently chip in from this point, and no one is in this room by mistake. But I have ears, the Internet and not just red headed piano players in my iTunes account. And like all artificial intelligence, I too can learn.

But when the immediately faster tempo throws itself on our mercy, or perhaps the other way around, I don’t really care. See, I used an adverb, that’s how reckless I’ve become. Table Scraps on record sound gloriously DIY, but live there an added sheen. I heard ‘Motorcycle’ in the soundcheck (one of my repeated Table Scraps endevours, if not only for the lyrics) and had been “surprised at how clean the sound was”. But being neither musician nor sound engineer, this was the first of my potentially garrulous assumptions.

On stage, tonight, hidden by a sea of frenetic heads, Table Scraps sound raw, low, deep, punchy and all the other adjectives a fucking rock band should be. Or punk, or whatever the appropriate genre moniker may be here (please refer to line one). By the time ‘Electricity’ is basking in a frenetic but tight guitar solo, I’m fully on board. This is fun.

BREVIEW: Table Scraps + Black Mekon @ Hare & Hounds 27.04.17 / James ThomasThe song of the hour is up next, ‘My Obsession’, as the Table Scraps half of the latest 45 Consortium 7” gets drop kicked off stage; fierce and threatening, in a good way, like some clever simile involving Christian Slater and a Magnum .44. Then an elongated misstep proves DIY is still DIY, and a well natured “…fucking drummers man,” from Scott Abbott take us into a track the set list calls ‘Teeth’. God bless garage rock, a repeated chorus and ‘belched out’ harmonies – it’s good to see something so tight yet so confident, even in its fuck ups. It makes me like them more.

The addition of Tim Mobbs seems to have helped bolster the bolshy two piece into a more well rounded trio, with the band themselves citing the added freedom they now enjoy – on stage and in the logistic that get BREVIEW: Table Scraps + Black Mekon @ Hare & Hounds 27.04.17 / James Thomasthem there. Mobbs also has a Theremin, which he plays sporadically (is there any other way..?) by using the head of his bass guitar. It adds some extra colour and twist, no pun intended, and for some reason makes me think of the child’s chemistry set I used to own. No idea why, but warm and fuzzy is the end result.

There are moments in the rest of the set where the rapid punches move to more obvious body blows, as elements of grunge and stadium rock wrestle each other on stage. And there is some similarity to a band whose name suggests a violent approach to large seeded fruit… But the tag team vocals and unashamed solos bring a fresh edge. It is perhaps also worth pointing out that being 5ft 7” on a good day I can’t see much of what’s going on at the front of the room; I write and record this evening relying on my more audible senses.

“You know this one…” yells Abbot, before ‘Motorcycle’ stands as the penultimate track of the night – with no pretence of an encore strutting itself to the wings and back. It’s a big sound to get right in a small room, but Table Scraps have delivered their set with aplomb and I am itching with something to see them on a large outdoor stage. Roll on September 16th.

But for now it’s back downstairs for more cider, by-partisan backslapping and reference points I will have to note down and research. Now what exactly is a ‘Black, Flag..?’

INTERVIEW: Table Scraps @ Hare & Hounds – 27.04.17


For more on Table Scraps, visit www.table-scraps.bandcamp.com

For more on Black Mekon, visit www.blackmekon.com

For more from the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath), including full event listing and online ticket sales, visit www.hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk

BPREVIEW: Table Scraps + Black Mekon @ Hare & Hounds 27.04.17

Words by Ed King / Pics stolen from various corners of t’interweb

On Thursday 27th April, Table Scraps + Black Mekon play at the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath) – launching their split 7” limited vinyl, as part of the 45 Consortium series.

Doors open at 8pm, with tickets are priced at a friendly £5 (+ booking fee). For more direct gig info, including venue details and online ticket sales, click here. You must be over 18 years old to ride this ride.

‘Belched out of the Midlands’, one of our favourite quotes this year, Table Scraps are busily terrorising people across the UK with a four date tour – coming to their home turf on Thursday 27th April for the  official launch of ‘My Obsession’, their latest single. And now greater in number, with the addition of TJ on bass guitar and vocals, Table Scraps are official 33.333 recurring louder. “Hello… sorry, what? From the Environmental Health. No, no one of that name here… Try the Weatherspoons.”

Released as part of Black Mekon’s 45 Consortium series – a series of six limited 7” vinyl press singles, featuring Black Mekon on one side and a guest artist on t’other – ‘My Obsession’ is a tense and brooding slab of menace anchored around a hypnotic fuzz bass and primal drum groove.’ Sounds like most Monday mornings to me.

What the Black Mekon side of the 7” is, we sadly cannot say. It’s either a closely guarded secret or a digital marketing mishap, but we’ve scoured the public domain (their website, Clash Magazine, Discogs…) and come up with nothing but mystery.

But I guess that’s what Thursday’s all about, and costing a mere five British Pounds Sterling you’re likely to get more bang for your buck than a convoluted scratch card. And some 3D glasses. Win win.

Meanwhile back at the ranch, here’s Table Scrap’s official video to ‘My Obsession’ – produced, as always, by the bionic three piece themselves. Viddy my droogs, what bolshy horrorshow warbles from Birmingham’s ‘most respected (and feared) fuzz merchants:

‘My Obsession’ – Table Scraps

Table Scraps + Black Mekon play at the Hare & Hounds on Thursday 27th April – launching ‘My Obsession’ through the 45 Consortium series of limited releases. For direct gig info and online tickets sales, click here.


For more on Table Scraps, visit www.table-scraps.bandcamp.com

For more on Black Mekon, visit www.blackmekon.com 

For more from the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath), including full event listing and online ticket sales, visit www.hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk

BREVIEW: John J Presley + Table Scraps, The Hungry Ghosts @ Hare & Hounds 14.09.16

John J Presley @ Hare & Hounds 14.09.16 / By Rob Hadley (Indie Images) © Birmingham Review


Words by Jay Dyer / Pic by Rob Hadley (Indie Images)

Wednesdays are not exactly prime nights for live music. Venues generally struggle to attract punters to their doors, punters whom have most likely hit the hump of the working week and long for the weekend. Surprisingly, however, The Hungry Ghosts - supporting John J Presley @ Hare & Hounds 14.09.16 / By Rob Hadley (Indie Images) © Birmingham Reviewas I arrive at the sun drenched Hare & Hounds I’m happy to see many people out to delve into some mid-week indulgence.

Entertainment for this evening comes in three forms: John J. Presley, Table Scraps and The Hungry Ghosts – which, from an initial perspective, looks like a bit of a mismatch. I head back up the winding stairs and into the Hare‘s smaller Venue 2. The room has been cut in half by a looming black curtain, I guess in order to condense the crowd, but alas we all huddle at the back – leaving enough space for a decent sized family car between ourselves and the stage.

The Hungry Ghosts - supporting John J Presley @ Hare & Hounds 14.09.16 / By Rob Hadley (Indie Images) © Birmingham ReviewThe Hungry Ghosts take to the stage in their now customary fashion, seemingly appearing out of thin air. The band emerge without much fanfare, except front man Joe Joseph who looks like he got off his ship in Whitby and travelled down to Birmingham via a cowboy convention.

As the set commences, their impact become apparent. The marriage of the booming rhythm section and the screaming guitars is something to behold. It seems The Hungry Ghosts have spent a lot of time in the rehearsal room since the last time I saw them, ensuring they dial in their sound precisely on the brink of annihilation. The quiet to loud dynamics are wonderfully maintained with each movement proving both intricate and deadly. Then there is the swagger. During parts of the set they are touching on Nick Cave levels of swagTable Scraps - supporting John J Presley @ Hare & Hounds 14.09.16 / By Rob Hadley (Indie Images) © Birmingham Reviewger. ‘Super King King’ is a perfect example, with the strutting riff echoing around the room.

As Joe Joseph peruses the stage and beyond, the bass line creates a head bobbing, lip turning, effortlessly sexy beat. The Hungry Ghosts describe their sound as ‘slaughterhouse blues’. I agree. Just when you think you’re safe, you are riding the waves of chaos into impending doom. I love it. I wouldn’t want it any other way.

Next up on stage tonight are Table Scraps. The three piece bring a fast paced brand of punk rock which has understandably rewarded them with much respect and admiration within the Birmingham ‘scene’.

Table Scraps - supporting John J Presley @ Hare & Hounds 14.09.16 / By Rob Hadley (Indie Images) © Birmingham ReviewThey started out life as a two-piece, but have since added a bass player which makes all the difference. Table Scraps’ sound is light and thick in all the right places and they really know how to write a catchy hook. Whether it is the gloomy, sludge filled ‘Bad Feeling’, or the thumping ‘Motorcycle’, the band know how to knock you about and leave you begging for more.

Guitarist, Scott Abbott, is seriously good; combining complex guitar lines with singing duties is no easy feat, yet he pulls it off with enough instinct to make it seem effortless. The crowd respond with a bit more energy than they did with The Hungry Ghosts, moving into the no-man’s land in front of the stage and having a few knocks about.

Table Scraps’ sound is forged through the intense driving bass lines and pounding drums battling the high end guitar lines and the accompanying gruff vocals. It takes you on a journey through the best parts of punk rock and reassures you that it’s just a heap of fun.John J Presley @ Hare & Hounds 14.09.16 / By Rob Hadley (Indie Images) © Birmingham Review

The room reaches its capacity for this evening and the headline act appears on stage to a cheer from the crowd; enter John J. Presley, flanked by his backing musicians. Their focus, the heavy musical influences of the southern states of the U.S. and the forming of blues escapism; tonight’s set is dripping in conventional blues guitar styles and played with such a tender touch that it must be admired.

However, as the performance goes on things start to grind on me; songs begin to merge, sounding identical to the one preceding it. There is very little change or movement in the music, which ultimately leads to myself and some of the other crowd members becoming restless.

John J Presley @ Hare & Hounds 14.09.16 / By Rob Hadley (Indie Images) © Birmingham ReviewAnd whilst I am a complete advocate for poetic versatility making a prominent return to song lyrics, John J. Presley is going in the wrong direction. His lyrics feel overly conceited, so much so that I can mouth the next line with such ease it’s unbelievable.

I enjoy listening to blues, and understand it has the problem of being restrictive upon experimentation. But unfortunately I find tonight’s set derivative of everything I have heard before; it is not breaking any ground, at all, seeming to settle and stagnate as the set wears on.

Back on the positives though, I do admire John J. Presley voice – it’s wonderfully thick and raspy, which is great for his own style. Also the music is technically played, precisely, and with a level of ability few people possess. I am just saddened to find myself sat at the back of the venue by the end of the set.

For more on John J Presley, visit www.johnjpresley.com

For more on Table Scraps, visit www.facebook.com/tablescrapshq

For more on The Hungry Ghosts, visit www.facebook.com/the.hungry.ghosts


For more from the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath), visit www.hareandhoundskingsheath.co.uk


BREVIEW: The Garden + The Parrots @ Hare & Hounds, 28.08

The Garden @ Hare & Hounds 28.08.16 / By Rob Hadley (Indie Images) © Birmingham Review

Words by Jay Dyer / Pics by Rob Hadley (Indie Images)

For the full Flickr of pics, click here

It’s Bank Holiday Sunday and it seems nature has given us Brits one final fleeting glimpse of what summer should be. It’s hot, it’s muggy and a wave of BBQ smoke lingers on the air.The Mothers Earth Experiment supporting The Garden + The Parrots @ Hare & Hounds 28.08.16 / By Rob Hadley (Indie Images) © Birmingham Review

However the promise of a darkened room filled with sweaty people and loud music is too good to miss. Word reaches me that two of the best local promoters, This is Tmrw and Killer Wave, have teamed up to bring some exciting local and international underground bands to the Hare & Hounds in Kings Heath.

The venue’s second, smaller room is host for this evening; its floor is already nice and sticky as I take a quick trip to the bar. The first band up on stage is The Mothers Earth Experiment, a six-piece ensemble who answer the question ‘’what’s up with all these flared jeans?’’.

The Mothers Earth Experiment arrange themselves on stage (which isn’t easy for a six-piece) and begin their set. The word ‘experiment’ within their name is aptly chosen; the band fuses together such a variety of genres that it is both old and fresh simultaneously. A luscious blend of Psychedelia, Jazz and Blues that takes you on a journey through the best parts of the 60’s and 70’s; in parts, they sound like Syd Barrett era Pink Floyd, in others the writing process behind The Beatles Revolver.

The Terror Watts - supporting The Garden + The Parrots @ Hare & Hounds 28.08.16 / By Rob Hadley (Indie Images) © Birmingham ReviewEach segment is wonderfully brought together – from the dual percussion, to the slightly overdriven guitars to the Ray Manzarek-esque organ. You get the feeling while watching The Mothers Earth Experiment that they must have so much fun in the rehearsal studio, just their effortless ability to be in complete sync is something to be admired. Arguably some of their instrumental songs go on a bit too long, but overall the set is a good dreamscape to begin the night – even if the room is a little empty this early on.

It appears the Hare & Hounds have their AC on the ‘ARCTIC’ setting too; to warm up I take a brief look outside to see more people have arrived, which is good news. Terror Watts are up next, a band that I’ve been keeping an ear on for some time; the three-piece are highly praised around Birmingham and this will be the third time I have seen them live.

Terror Watts play a form of high paced punk rock with a few more added pop hooks than most similar acts. They seem to have nailed the three-chord-song and maintain the pop melody throughout, which is quite intriguing. The rhythm section is pretty damn brutal and the bass is full of energy, which really compliments the high end distorted guitar and the melodic vocals. The room is much fuller by this point, something that reflects in the Terror Watts’ performance – one which is all about energy.Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam - supporting The Garden + The Parrots @ Hare & Hounds 28.08.16 / By Rob Hadley (Indie Images) © Birmingham Review

Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam are up next, as another influx of people come up the narrow winding stairs into the still unnaturally cold Room 2. Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam are another band I have heard quite a lot about, however I’ve not yet had the chance to see them live. Like their predecessors, Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam focus upon delivering a fast paced, energetic set with lots of movement both physically and sonically.

They utilise dual vocals extremely well and the two very different tones intertwine wonderfully. The use of over driven, octave effects on the guitar is also worked perfectly. Many bands use this technique to varying success, but the sounds produced tonight are refined and blend well with the raw power of the rhythm section. Although it’s hard to put a finger on the style Sunshine Frisbee Laserbeam are making; in some parts I hear Palma Violets, in others I hear some Blink 182 (I apologise).

Table Scraps - supporting The Garden + The Parrots @ Hare & Hounds 28.08.16 / By Rob Hadley (Indie Images) © Birmingham ReviewTable Scraps take to the stage next; the three piece are a punky, gritty mass of noise which comforts my ears. The pace of this band is the fastest tonight, with the tempo seeming to ever rise alongside the thunderous noise. The drums are the heartbeat; they pound and reverberate around the room with much focus upon the toms.

The tortured vocals are exactly what you would wish for with this style of music, cutting through the low end noise and ringing out catchy melodies for the duration of the set. The choruses are great for the crowd to scream back at the band, and there’s a ritualistic chant behind almost every song.

Table Scraps have elements of Ty Segall running through their music (albeit a far sludgier version) with simple songs played in a way you do not hear very often. This band are great for getting the heart race and adrenaline running, which is shown when the first crowd surfers of the evening start occurring in the middle of the room. And thankfully Table Scraps seem to have made the room a little bit hotter to counteract that air conditioner.

The penultimate slot goes to Madrid 3-piece, The Parrots. And I will get the following comparison out of the way, because the band (or their fans) are most likely bored of hearing it… and with my limited knowledge of Madrid’s music scene… The Parrots sound very similar, in terms of style, to Hinds. Absolutely no bad thing, but rather a look into what the Spanish are up to. But I love it, I really do. The harmonic distorted vocals, the jangling guitar lines, the galloping bass and the swinging drums; it all just fits so, so wellThe Parrots @ Hare & Hounds 28.08.16 / By Rob Hadley (Indie Images) © Birmingham Review.

The Parrots also have elements of psyche rock bands such as The Allah-La’s, and their overall sound is just overwhelmingly feel good. Yes, it is simple, but that’s the joy because they make it sound so fun. It’s not over laden with noise and over-experimented on the effects; it is honest and completely to the point, which is right up my street.

The Parrots’ front man, Diego García, is eye catching – running about the stage, ending up on his back whilst screeching out a guitar line. This is the craziest I have seen the Hare & Hounds‘ crowd tonight and it’s a great surprise to discover a band I really, really, want to see again.

But this is it. I have overheard, at various points this evening, how much people are looking forward to tonight’s second headliner The Garden. Somehow I’ve not listened to this band before either, but once again I am looking forward to see what all the fuss is about.

The Garden @ Hare & Hounds 28.08.16 / By Rob Hadley (Indie Images) © Birmingham ReviewAs I stand right next to the stage right speaker, I am shocked to see Trent Reznor (straight from the ‘March of the Pigs’ video set) and a young Dave Gahan wearing French regency makeup walk onto stage. One sits at the drums and the other picks up the bass, as they tear into a set which both confuses me and intrigues me equally.

The Garden are, almost definitely, the most polarising band I have ever witnessed live. I would understand that a lot of people would absolutely hate them, but I am not one of them (…I think). The Garden seem to cross genres nearly every second – starting with cataclysmic death metal style bass lines, then intertwining jazz, electro, new wave and beyond. It is madness, absolute pure unadulterated madness; you have to be completely open-minded and expect nothing.

Inexplicably, midway through a song, The Garden ‘twins’ (brothers Wyatt and Fletcher Shears) both drop instruments and embark what I can only deem as electro/dubstep karaoke which the crowd absolutely loves. If I were to attempt to define the sound I would suggest beginning with Devo, then imagining that Devo took some really awful acid and spawned some brutal dark Devo baby. Then you’d be close.

But there has been a lot on stage tonight, as The Garden end our Bank Holiday mayhem with simply a really strange set. One which has an incredible reaction from the crowd surfers, but something I was not expecting to witness on a Sunday.

For more on The Garden, visit http://www.thegardenvadavada.com/

For more from The Parrots, visit www.facebook.com/theparrots1


For more from Killer Wave, visit www.facebook.com/kllrwv

For More from This Is Tmrw, visit www.thisistmrw.co.uk

For more from the Hare & Hounds (Kings Heath), visit www.hareandhoundskingsheath.co.ukFollow-Birmingham-Review-on-300x26Facebook - f square, rounded - with colour - 5cm highTwitter - t, square, rounded, with colour, 5cm high