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Friday, 16 December 2016

A View From The Back Of The Room: Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats

Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats & Vôdûn, The Globe Cardiff
This to me was an interesting gig as I have yet to see Vôdûn or Uncle Acid in a small venue as the former has only been at festivals and the latter only when supporting Black Sabbath in Birmingham, so I was anticipating a good night of music as both bands have their own take on music and both deliver in the live arena. As I headed into The Globe it was nice to see Cardiff staying true to form and swallowing beer by the pint until they were rat-arsed on a school night, still I headed upstairs and took my place for both bands.

First up was London based voodoo rock band Vôdûn (9) who took to the stage to no fanfare and decked out in their normal warpaint and tribal clothing, many weren't interested but as Minos Army started the set they ensured that those who turned up early were quickly watching the stage. Now I've seen the three-piece before and it can take crowds a little bit of time to adjust to the shamanic, frenzied performance of the band but once they do inhibitions are forgotten and the groove takes hold. It's almost cult-like in nature as all three members know how to get the most out of their respective instruments, Ghede (Lindz) plays his heavy gauge stringed guitar for maximum discord swirling riffs around the frankly astounding drumming of Ogoun (Zel), watching her from our vantage point was mesmerising, power, precision and controlled aggression meant she was the driving force of the bands percussive style of metal. 

Right of her was singer Oya (Chantal) whose voice is astounding soulful, passionate with a wide range that moves from shouts to shrieks and back again and when she's not singing she plays all manner of percussion instruments while going wild to the psychadelic grooves of their songs, as the set progressed through Bondeye, Erzulie, Oya, Kanpay Rejete the pace was never dropped, with more and more of the crowd going wild until the closing number Legba's Feast featured various percussion instruments given to those in the crowd while Oya and Ogoun had a cowbell duel (and you can never have enough cowbell). Vôdûn are a band made for the live arena their music is sort of frenetic, furious, spiritual heaviness that draws you into the truly stunning spectacle of the power of music. 

The headliners had a mountain to climb but they made their way to the stage with an assured confidence. The Cambridgeshire four piece were greeted by very warm (and now full) Cardiff crowd and with the opening chord of Mt. Abraxas from Mind Control kicking off the heads started to bang and continued to during Waiting For Blood as well as one of my personal favourite Over And Over Again. With the four Hairy Herberts engaged in some heads down riffing, Kevin Starrs wailing down the mic and taking the Iommi-loving leads the visuals were left to the lights and smoke, however the smoke left an acrid smell in the air but as it cleared it became more recognisable, it smelt like burning, particularly electrical burning. As the band ploughed through, finally in flurry of movement from the event staff they jumped on stage and the show was halted. As there was numerous people crowding around one of the PA's a few restless punters couldn't keep cool and started to heckle but if it's a choice of stopping the show for a few minutes and there being a fire I know which I prefer (it's not Rammstein folks). 

After a short time the signal was given the show restarted and everything was heavy again. Vôdûn's Oya was brought on to help with the excellent Pusher Man (dedicated to Phil Spector) before they chilled things out with the creeping Slow Death which burnt slowly from embers into a raging fire and ended the main set with oppressively heavy metal. A short encore (not needed) and back they came for the first song of the encore Melody Lane which is an amalgamation of early Sabbath and Syd fronted Pink Floyd before ending things properly with Withered Hand Of Evil. On a night when they had to deliver, they did and although the gap broke the vibe a little Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats (8) proved that they deserve their top billing, who needs Black Sabbath when you have UAATDB. I urge you to forgo watching Sabbath on their current 'final' tour and go see Uncle Acid instead it's crushingly heavy doom laden occult rock, the soundtrack to bad acid trip, it's the music that killed the summer of love and more power to it.

A great gig to start the wind up to the end of the year.

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