Thursday, 14 November 2019

A View From The Back Of The Room: Pity My Brain 5th Birthday (Live Review By Matt Bladen)

Pity My Brain 5th Birthday, Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

Having been slogging away trying to bring shows to the South Wales scene for 5 years it was probably only right that Pity My Brain gathered together some of their most booked acts into one gig for their fifth anniversary. Taking place in Clwb Ifor Bach (upstairs for a change) it was supposed to be headlined by the greasy rockers The Admiral Sir Cloudesley Shovell however they pulled out, luckily they were replaced by Henry's Funeral Shoe, unfortunately on the night Heavy Flames also pulled out meaning that this is went down to a four band show on the day, however this didn't deter the Pity My Brain faithful for heading up to Clwb and grabbing a beer ready for some big riffs.

Openers were Peter Greene (8) who kicked off with some 60's style rocking that also had some stoner and grunge sound, it was lots of lovely grooves right from the off. Opening with a cover of Hendrix's Foxy Lady these young uns prove there is still life in this style of music as they clearly have old souls to play the kind of music that gets you moving. From then it was all originals that got the audience moving as much as their cover. Climaxing their set with some crunching doom this four piece named after the founder of Fleetwood Mac (before they went Hollywood) started the evening in style. There's lots to come from this band, mark my words.

With Heavy Flames pulling out last minute it was Lacertilia (9) up next to keep things moving and in true Lacertilia style they ripped the roof of the place. A band who get better with every viewing, (and I've seen them alot) if you're sleeping on them then you're missing out. They have thick riffs for days from Mike and Lukas as Tom and Ed layer things with syrpy bottom end. There aren't many band who can get a crowd going with such ease, frontman Fry conducted the audience in his own unique way, as he also writhed on the floor during their final song. The set was drawn mainly from their new as yet unreleased album and despite Lukas breaking a string on the first song, they weren't put off their stride, it was a little jam then ready again for some absolute riffs. Once again it was these madmen who nuked the room, making near impossible to follow them.

It was lucky then next up were Dead Shed Jokes (8). The band had impressed in HMV earlier in the day stripping back songs from their new album All The Seasons to a crowd of devotees and also some slightly bewildered punters. In Clwb everything was amped up properly showing DSJ in full flight and playing tracks from their amazing new album to a grooving crowd. Opening with Phantom Pains it was a rifftastic way to begin, they continued on fine style playing tracks mainly from the latest release as they blended the sound together for one hazy set. Always a delight to watch especially from an instrumental perspective as Nicky, Kristian and a guitarist Nathan who was filling in for a few gigs for Chris. They all swapped between guitar and bass for the duration of the show as frontman Hwyel shifted across the stage feeling the vibes as he unleashed that unique powerhouse voice leaving the beat to Sean behind the kit, though he does do some singing as well like a Welsh Taylor Hawkins. I've been watching DSJ for a few years now and they have morphed into a monster of band with songs that resonate through every person's soul, with a fantastic album behind them 2020 looks bright.

Finally it was time for our headliners, the brotherly duo of Aled and Brennig Clifford make up Henry's Funeral Shoe (9) and they brought the Delta Blues to Clwb drawing the evening to a close with the fury of a band who have been doing this for long time (since 2008). The slickness was off the charts as they got the room grooving to some swaggering blues riffage that was far too easy for the hips. This wasn't supposed to be their gig, but they played it like it was, dropping in some self-deprecating humour in between the punchy blues rock. It had been left to these Ystrad bluesers to close the night and they did so in fine style playing to an inebriated audience they absolutely smashed it with a set of rockers that got the crowd moving for the whole set.

All in all a great showcase of South Wales rock scene, these bands have been supported by Pity My Brain since the beginning, here's hoping that going forward that they bring more great gigs to South Wales, while also retaining their place as the champions of the overlooked side of the scene. When your better half says she'd have all of the bands at your wedding you know they are doing something right!

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