The Waterfront, Norwich, November 12, 2021
by Niki Jones
Openers Kulk are a two-piece – not that you’d know it without looking.
The “fuzzy psychy doom” duo produces an earth-trembling racket that belies their slender line-up. Guitarist/vocalist Thom Longdin’s mix of huge tone and homemade guitar pedals creates an gargantuan sound fitting of some four-piece bands, while drummer Jade Ashleigh is the female embodiment of the Melvins’ Dale Crover.
Straight blonde hair obscuring her face, she shows utter contempt for her drum kit (even playing it standing up at one point). She also handles synths, adding yet another, spacey layer to their sound.
Longdin announces their curtain call by saying “This is our last song, it’s not very short” before launching into a doomy epic which starts head-noddingly slowly before there’s a crescendo of feedback and oscillators.
They certainly leave their mark on The Waterfront this evening.
Ears have barely stopped ringing by the time Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs hit the stage.
They strike a curious tableau. Frontman Matthew Baty looks like a spin-class instructor from the worst gym imaginable. With his treacherously short shorts and his “Find What Feels Good” T-shirt (shout out Yoga With Adrienne!), he stalks the stage like a man possessed as they smash into the opening salvo of latest album ragers Reducer and Rubbernecker.
Flanked by two guitarists – Adam Ian Sykes, too cool for school with his shoulder-length hair and ’70s shades, and Sam Grant, with guitar under his chin, permanently looking like he’s trying to get a spider off him – they are a striking bunch.
The riffs may sound overly familiar at times, bringing to mind such stoner luminaries as Dozer, Truckfighters, Orange Goblin and the mighty Kyuss. But Baty’s unique vocal style, their exuberant stage presence and their punk-rock viciousness give them an edge.
Songs such as GNT and Sweet Relief prove that under all the fuzz and chaos lies an incredibly tight unit. Held together by the rhythm section assault of John-Michael Joseph Hedley and Chris Morley, their rock solidity allows the guitars to wail and vocals to seethe without ever feeling like it’s going to completely fall apart.
In keeping with the controlled chaos of their set, they announce there will be no encore. Instead, they tell us they prefer to play the last song “properly” and then “maybe be sick at the side of the stage” due to overexertion before careening into a blistering version of A66.
And then they’ve gone – but not before Baty leaves us with a little something to ponder on our journeys home: “Would you rather own a fish with the mind of Noel Edmonds or a dog that constantly screams (but his mind is his own)?”
Pigs x 7 – a band that leave your ears ringing and your mind boggling. Now that’s value for money.