Live Review: Weirds at Sound Control in Manchester 7 April 2017

Review from Ben Forrester

So, as most gigs seem to start these days, I’m sat at the pub across the road from Sound Control. As I sit and sink well priced pints of good beer, I notice the bar starts to fill with kids dressed head to toe in denim with long flowing bleach blonde hair, mostly in curtains but some embracing the more unkempt frizzy look. It is clear that they are waiting to go in to see everyone’s favorite garage-punk outfit The Wytches. It’s great to see how far this band has come and it goes to show that if you have the live set down and constantly tour it, your fan base will always increase. Although I enjoy watching The Wytches in a live capacity, I’m not strictly here to see them tonight.

I am here to see Leeds noise makers Weirds, who are in lead support this evening. Emerging onto the scene about four years ago now, the quartet have rapidly become one of the UK’s most exciting live acts with their unique blend of 80’s indie-pop and sludge-rock riffage. It’s an exciting time for the band as they are due to release their debut album next month and with two tracks already in heavy circulation online, the hype train is filling up.

Having heard the album myself (watch out for a review coming soon on these very pages), I am excited to hear it live as on record it sounds nothing but colossal. ‘Things That Crawl‘ opens the set with a monster riff with intricate yet driving guitar interplay in the verse that shows off the bands unique dynamic straight away. Although it doesn’t quite pack the same punch as it does on record tonight, I know that once the album is out and they hit up the headline shows, rooms are gonna melt to this track.

We do get a good portion of new material tonight including the dark, synth-lead dramatics of ‘Valley Of Vision‘ and the power pop urgency of new single ‘Phantom‘ which switches between stratospheric space rock and sci-fi groove-pop. It’s every bit as bonkers as it sounds.

Although there’s lots of head banging going on throughout, it isn’t until the last few tunes that both band and crowd really come to be one. As soon as they launch into previous EP track ‘Blood Test‘, the kids open the pit immediately with front-man Aidan jumping in shortly after. I love that this has suddenly become a full on chaotic rock show!

As the band politely thank the crowd, they launch into ‘Weird Sun‘ which is a kraut meets psych work out that erupts into an explosive breakdown which consumes the pit. The first half of the room are jumping in unison as the band all stare menacingly into the crowd, encouraging the raucous behaviour that has now consumed the room. As pools of noise and feedback roar out of the PA, Aidan stands on the banister shouting into his delay heavy mic before the band blast out one more chorus as the front-man dives back into the crowd, screaming in faces. It’s a very exciting end to a set that started big in sound but then escalated into the unity of the band and crowd all going bat shit together. I think these guys are onto something here – if you like riffs and sweat, get down to a Weirds show. QUICK. With sets like this, they ain’t gonna be staying in these smaller rooms for long.

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