Seeing as I was introduced to one of the two fine fellows of Beehoover at this year’s Roadburn festival in Holland, a kind of mid point from their German home and my travels from the North Wales edge of the world, I thought a Sunday night expedition over the Pennines and back was fair enough as they were coming this relatively close on a 10 day UK tour.
They’ve been over before in their 10 year or so history, and do have firm connections with the UK in spending time in Wales and Yorkshire, and have 5 albums of their progressive, complex, bass and drum experimentalism under their belts. Their latest “Primitive Powers” was a present at Roadburn, along with a load of beer, so I stocked up on Conwy Honey Ales in return and headed over.
Chunk as well I’d been meaning to get to for a while, as it’s a DIY space set up as a rehearsal room plus occasional gig venue by and for the wealth of alternative and underground that foments in this fair city. Finding the anonymous block was a bit harder but for future reference if you’re near The Primrose and the petrol station you’re not far off. I caught up with my fellow travellers of doom and then enjoyed the rest of what the evening had to offer
Only a smallish room and a small but respectable turnout, sparked into life by Bronzed. Really enjoyed the frenetic pace of their sharp hardcore, driven by almost jazz drumming. Plenty of angular dissonance to the riffing and a raw vocal, they are a new band but with past separate experience that seems to have given them a good confidence in delivering this energetic onslaught.
Girl Sweat is a one man army dwarfed by his technological set up, which takes a while. Also has to change into his shiny smart gig shirt. 🙂 Then we have a build-up of electronic loops and beats, that eventually reaches a powerful repetitive pulse, enabling him to ad lib some washes and wooshes of lap steel slides, and then move to some tortured effected vocals which are a bit lost and don’t add much to me. An interesting free-form crafting but might benefit from some editing
Unwave were more conventional in approach but still very diverse in structure and style, with a post-hardcore heart tinged with a melancholy vibe. There were passages of drifting mellowness with odd effects, interspersed with rawer outburst of faster thrashing, the vocals also conveyed emotion well. They were just launching a new release incorporated into a zine and that matched the impression that there was a lot of depth and angles to what they were exploring here, added up to the feeling of something special
Our headliners, Beehoover made for an intimate occasion with bassist Ingmar sitting to play close in with Claus’s drums turned to the side for their focus on each other. I discover that this is also for the barefoot bassist to demonstrate some great tap dancing skills in controlling his bank of pedals, sometimes stomping two at once, as they provide a punchy punctuation to their songs. As a bass player myself I am in awe and inspired by what is achieved as their insistent riffs and beats flow along, I can’t believe such a full powerful sound is achieved while rarely descending to even the bottom of his four strings (where I permanently reside, until now!). An octave pedal helps but the guitar-ing style I suppose is also reminiscent of Lemmy’s approach. The drums also offer such subtlety and precision, with driving power when it suits. It’s marvellous anyway, like a more prog Nomeansno, or a doomier Tool. With the addition of the strong vocal on all sorts of obscure and abstract they really draw the attention of the crowd in, and are much appreciated. A great, intriguing set, and I am also spoiled rotten by being offered ALL their merch. Such love and loveliness, I can only recommend you get them in your lives! Dive in with both feet!