Suns Of Thunder Monkey Cafe, Swansea, 19/08/2007

Sun 26th August 2007

Support from Tim Holehouse, Veee Deee


Blimey, a gig in Swansea that I'm actually interested in seeing that doesn't cost an arm and a leg to get into... there's a turn up for the books!

It's been a while since I've seen Tim Holehouse and things have certainly changed for 9Hz's favourite Folk-Wookie. I stroll upstairs half way through 'Vessels That Sail In The Night' from first album 'Found Dead On The Shoreline' having got chatting to the Veee Deee boys downstairs and am lovingly greeted with Tim's warm if slightly fragile voice before the song ends and Tim announces a quick guitar change and introduces his part time drummer Rich. The rest of the set is then comprised of newer material and as I said, the gentle acoustic folk has developed into an entirely different beast altogether as the twosome produce effects laden off-kilter-folk/performance poetry/doom/drone and (dare I say it...) post-rock crossover pieces lurching from Mogwai influenced slow building avalanches of reverb saturated noodling to Sunn0))) infused drone and back again over anywhere up to eight minutes odd. Some of this works very well, some of it less so to the extent that Swanseas as usual rather un-open minded crowd have pretty much all fucked off by the time they finish the set with an extremely unexpected two minutes of folk/four minutes of black metal conundrum. I'm unsure whether Tim would maybe benefit from expanding his mad-scientist song writing experiment with other permanent band members to help him shape his ideas a little more thoroughly or perhaps just trying to not cram all of his very wide ranging musical tastes into each and every song but either way, if he can hone his craft a little more we could see some quite extraordinary things from him in the future on the basis of whats on display tonight. And sing a little more Tim, I miss your voice!

Veee Deee are an entirely unknown entity to me (and to most people as they themselves laughingly admit) and having heard one or two descriptions of them as a result of this tour I'm unsure as to what to expect until they refer to themselves as 'basically like a psychedelic Black Flag' and yes, that'd about cover it. Think of every single major freak-out Black Flag, Fugazi and their contemporaries ever had over the course of their respective careers, then play them all at once, twice as fast. Add in to this the occasional nod to Slints more introspective, non-raging approach along with some awesome musicianship and you end up with Veee Deee. The boys throw everything into it and I was genuinely impressed from start to finish with what might just be something reasonably original done with hardcore's rather tired blueprint. I buy their cd at the bargain price of £2 and am happy in the knowledge that I've found a new band worth listening to. Can't say fairer than that.

After an evening of what could only ever really be described as rather eclectic music it's forgivable for thinking that the Suns Of Thunder's straight ahead groove merchantry might sit somewhat askew but of course, this is a foolish notion that the Suns have disproved on many an occasion before tonight. When you're as good at what you do as they are it just doesn't matter who else is playing. Opening up with a good ten minutes worth of top notch jamming that finally drops seamlessly into new EP 'Gimme Some More's closing track 'Mclarens Holy Smoke' the boys are on their usual scorching form. Once again I'm taken aback by how together these boys are as a band, you can refer to a lot of bands out there as 'tight' and 'focused' and not be over exaggerating but with the Suns it really is just a different level as they all work around the set song structure, doing their own little thing with it never sounding anything other than entirely complete. Next comes 'Last Of The High Rollers' album track 'Another Dead Hero' which they decide to play 'without the jam' as time is getting on only for singer/guitarist Greg to knacker a string requiring the rest of the band to cover for a lengthy interlude as he runs off somewhere to find a spare. Again, with perhaps only one or two moments where it nearly runs out of steam they carry it off without even trying, lead guitarist Adam especially once more vindicating my regular claims that he's quite possibly the finest and most intuitive rock musician the UK currently has the good fortune to be able to offer until some ten minutes later when they're back up to full compliment they just lock back in exactly where they'd left off and romp the riff on home in fine style before treating us to 'Gimme Some More's title track and 'The Curse Of The Mothertruckers', both going off without a hitch and grooving us off into the night with a warm, fuzzy feeling of satisfaction with the nights entertainment. Officially 100% awesome.


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