Oxjam Islington and Artful Noise joined forces to put together a night at Electrowerk (also known as Islington Metal Works) in Angel, with all proceeds going to raise money for Oxfam. It was £5 to get in and The Fierce And The Dead were on at 1900, so how could I not turn up ?
Well, the rail network tried its best by closing Angel tube and the Victoria line, but it was hardly any walk from St Pancras, and I enjoy walking through London anyway, so I made my way up the hill of the Pentonville Road and got to the venue in no time at all, to find the bar area full of familiar faces, including Robert Ramsay of Shineback fame. We could hear Part 4 as the soundcheck and were eager to get inside and get things going.
Very soon we were inside the cosy venue and it seems that “Biscuits” is the new ‘one two’ for Matt Stevens and they circle into Part 4, the opening track from the forthcoming album, Spooky Action. It echoes and blasts away hard thumping under the the circling guitar from Steve Cleaton. Kev Feazey’s bass rumbles as Stuart Marshall’s drums beat it on then it breaks open again and thrashes away.
The crashing finish holds for the sumptuous bass riff into Ark. It eases along with shattering bursts of harder sound, all the time with Matt’s guitar lighter on top. “That last one is the new single, out on Monday, and this is another one off the new album. This is called Let’s Start A Cult,” says Kev, and it circles with sharp guitar before driving away with an avant garde edge, moving here and there through deliberate pauses then kicking away and blasting on with a screech into a very direct close which echoes to a finish. They almost get ahead of themselves before Spooky Action comes in on the second tap in and thumps away with grinding guitars. It pauses and circles melodic before it continues with a lighter feel.
Next up is I Like It, I’m Into It and piercing guitar builds before it thunders away. The track pauses then pushes on with Matt’s higher guitar sound on top, the drums crashing it along, a relentless sound which swirls hard as it rises through a crescendo to riff to a close. “This is another new one,” says Kev and they give us Chief. Matt picks out a tune and they play around it before blasting it open and riffing hard. Then it is back to rolling along beside Matt’s sharp line, the drums keeping us moving until it pounds again and Matt plays a hard riff which rises out of the sound and takes us into an extended close with Kev on his knees tapping at his bass.
They rattle out of that and it pounds away to finish sharply. Matt circles in melodic to begin 666…6 and Steve comes in harder as it blasts open with a very meaty bassline. It holds, then rumbles out of that and rocks away with screeching guitar. It moves in phases and blasts out before holding for some thick, deep sounds from Steve, very dark metal before it screams to a piercing end. The crowd call for more, but the time has gone and the band have to pack up so the evening can keep going.
It has been short and very sweet, and a brilliant taster for the new album.
You can catch TFATD at The Good Ship in Kilburn on Thursday 21 November 2013 and then at Danfest 3 at The Musician in Leicester on Friday 22 November 2013.
You can pre-order the new album here.
You can see the video for Ark here.
You can see more of my photographs from this evening here.