Bring the Noise

So it’s time for more Loop. 😀 Yay! Road trip with fellow Soundhead, Dave. Yay! again 😀

Loop have just played a couple of low key warm-up gigs in advance of their appearance at Roadburn Festival and their North American tour. They have a new (to them) drummer to replace John Wills. This is Wayne Maskell from the psych band The Heads (of whom more later) so it was interesting to hear how they gelled.

First up, Birmingham, in a teeny tiny venue called the Hare & Hounds. Its claim to fame?

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I could spot a few familiar faces. Not people I actually know, but those who have been at a few of the gigs. I found out afterwards that some of them had travelled up from Brighton and London for this and I’ll bet they were glad they did. At points, the band seemed to be having a bit of trouble with the sound onstage, but it sounded pretty good, and pretty loud, out front.

Set list, you say?

Head-rush opener Soundhead; The Nail Will Burn; Vapour; Straight To Your Heart; ultra-slow Fade Out; crowd-pleasing people’s favourite Collision; Fever Knife (with that great opening line – “It struck me like a blow to the head”); funky dance choon Arc Lite; for the first time (ever?) Forever; Burning World (they fluffed the beginning but it still ended up sounding lush); and Can’s rocking Mother Sky. I didn’t actually write this down at the time. Someone posted the set list on FB. They had been intending to do Afterglow but, for whatever reason (time constraints?) they didn’t fit it in 😦

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And here’s a rather blurry shot of the hero of the hour.

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It was only announced about six weeks ago that drummer Wayne Maskell would be joining Loop for their 2014 dates so, even allowing for a bit of lead in before that, he’s only had, at best, at couple of months with the rest of the band. This was his first appearance with Loop and he’s officially AMAZING 😀

Just to put this into perspective, let’s talk about ‘deep ends’.

Today (Saturday) Loop will be headlining a leading underground doom/psych/avant garde metal festival in the Netherlands, Roadburn.  From there, they travel to the US and Canada for a (the last time I counted) 21-date tour.

Deep enough? No? How about adding an appearance at Texas’ internationally acclaimed festival of “mind expanding music”*, Austin Psych Fest* and then, back in the UK, the prospect of several double-headers with industrial eardrum-batterers Godflesh, then appearances in Paris (at Villette Sonique édition 2014), Barcelona (at Primavera Sound) and Porto (at Optimus Primavera Sound). So, yeah, no pressure.

On this showing, I’m pretty sure he’ll be up to the challenge. Good job that man 😎 ⭐

There were lots of cheers at the end and desperate hand signals from the newly-deaf crowd as they realised that one of their faculties was now shot to hell.

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The journey home from this gig was a mixture of grinning like loons and eyes-rolling because of an hour-long traffic jam at Spaghetti Junction due to roadworks. Ho hum. The things we do for love.

Work the next morning was a mere trifling distraction before the main business of the latter part of the day: more Loop. Back in Bristol again, but this time at the Exchange. Road music on the way was strictly old skool d’n’b; Planet V and Reprazent. Well we were going to Bristol, so it seemed geographically appropriate.

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We had, more or less, the same songs as at Birmingham, although in a different order and with the addition of Breathe Into Me. Arc Lite was awesome and I must say I’m really loving Burning World. Mmmm, that gorgeous bassline …

We’re also developing a repertoire of standard Loop gig jokes; 1. during the gig, while Loop pootle along at earhole-shredding volume, someone must shout “Turn it up!” and 2. after a gig all posts about hearing/tinnitus must be written in SHOUTY CAPITALS!! We’re so jovial 😀

Again, hats off to Wayne. Between Birmingham and Bristol he seemed to have really gained in confidence despite, apparently, being really nervous of this hometown gig. Well he was proper storming. What a chap.

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Before the gig, in the pub next door to the venue, something a bit odd happened. Dave, seems to have acquired a new bezzie mate! Fellow Cheshuntonian, guitarist Scott Dowson!! Whosiewhatnow?

Turned out that Dave had been plotting to surprise me with a fan-girl-worthy signed record. Cheer Dave and cheers lads 😀 😀 (look: even new boy Wayne has signed it 😀 *yay!*). It’s hilarious really, as I now have three copies of this record (not including digital downloads). What a gigantic geek.

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But seriously, what can I say about Loop that I haven’t said already? They are simply the living end.

We await, with bated breath, the reports from Roadburn and from fellow Soundheads across the pond.

There are much more sensible review of the Birmingham gig here: http://nativemonster.com/music/bands-and-gigs/gig-reviews/review-loop-hare-, and a video clip here –  https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=O4ksaDKKq3A&app=desktop and,seeing as my photos are pretty terrible, there are some much much better photos of Bristol here: http://www.middleboopmag.com/music/loop/photos-loop-live-exchange-bristol

 

 

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