Tuesday 12th Feb - The Sonic Sanctuary, Trowbridge
The Big Naturals were completely different from when I last saw them, supporting Circle back in 2005 –Pared down to a bass and drum duo with no vocals this time round. They literally filled the venue floor with an ‘amp henge’, a vibrating amphitheatre within which the bassist dished out tasty feedback shapes that quickly skipped into a steroid heavy riffage with the strings rasping around like severed cat tongues. The drums hammered back from the shadows, the exhaling breath of cymbals cauterised the air, as the gloom curved around and heads nodded along in unified worship. The closest comparison would have to be God minus the sax, heavy wholesome fun with something of OM in there too - even if it’s a lazy comparison. I was really partial to the fx swirls mid-set. Vaporous elastic to which the drummer threw across some 'mini Korg', a seething bed of electric eaten by a droning tide.
The Doozer was a singer/songwriter with a lovely tinge of 60’s psych attached to his songs. Beautiful guitar led observations full of golden moments that slowly melted in your head. The delivery was vaguely reminiscent of ‘Olivia Tremor Control’, as effects subtly blurred the edges, his ‘comfort blanket’ lyric sheets at his feet. The sound was far too quiet for the chatter going on upstairs, but switching to the Casio he slammed a high res drone through the place and effectively wiped it clean away, intoning a – ‘Thisss is a sonnnnnng’ mantra over the top...
With the headliners, the exact details are a bit hazy as so much was packed into their set, you could really feel the energy a flowing. A sprawling Blues fusion, with Matt V’s guitar giving off a nice metallic twang as he threw himself around some tasty riff led diversions. Erika was split between song and working her teeny guitar, feeding melodic slivers into the mix. Mick Flower was on bass and a ‘pedal steel’ man was supplying saturated smears, whilst the drums knitted it all loosely together. The Doozer added echoed harmonica at various points, which gave a gooey, slip and slide dimension to the sound. At one point V started ripping the sound apart, feedback quivering the amp, guitar swinging about madly, Kek grabbed my shoulders and shook me, I grinned back at him, like an idiot. At another point, everything went delightfully fx-ed crazy, the drummer supplying devotional side flicked cymbal and the occasional bit of stick work, The Doozer daubing it in twilight harmonica and Mr Flower got down to a bit of Indian banjo… as Matt and Erika leisurely shook extra colours off their fingers - oh this was superb stuff! A golden sun broke over their faces and you just had to smile along… such a pity I didn’t recognise any of the songs, the one about ‘shiny hammers’ would definitely be worth tracking down in the near future.