Blowgoat – Floyds Bar, Cardiff 18/04/13

“You don’t have to be mad to work here, but it helps.” Truer words have not been said when it comes to describing the Blowgoat show at Floyds bar, quite simply because it was one of the maddest and most intense shows that I have ever been to.

Opening up the show was local band Beasts (9/10), who somehow wound up being the ‘tamest’ band of the night! For those who have seen Beasts before, you will no doubt be familiar with how fantastic and energetic their live shows always are, so this may give a little bit of an indicator at just how intense the later bands were!

This was by no means a bad thing, mind, as it was a fantastic way to get things warmed up. Whilst I have seen them play better shows, it was a truly a brilliant performance from the four-piece, like usual.

One of the things I like about them so much is the fact that they’re just so tight live and singer/guitarist Beechman is definitely one of the best frontmen in the Welsh scene right now – he’s a truly engaging performer. They played a noisy and strong set full of massive songs. I may have said this before and I will no-doubt say it again, but Only Rats Leave A Sinking Ship is always brilliant to see live. I absolutely love the way Beecham screams the lyrics “bring out your dead!” in it.

The set ended in true Beasts fashion, with screeching feedback and Beecham’s guitar being used as a target for kickboxing practice. Always a pleasure to see this band live.

Following Beasts was Jesse Ventura (10/10), who quite simply blew me away. Frontman James was a an absolute live-wire! As the set began and he performed from the crowd, it quickly became apparent that he was being restricted by a fairly short microphone wire as he stormed about the front of the room, frequently colliding with audience members as he moved.

However the problem was quickly rectified as he switched microphones and then he was like a speeding bullet moving about the room, climbing anywhere and everywhere he could! On more than one occasion he climbed up the stair banister at the side of the room and also performed a lot of the show on top of a table that he’d dragged to centre-stage. He also sang from the middle of the crowd and even ventured to the back of the room to perform from there for a bit!

The music was loud and intense, which is just what I like, so it was great to come across this band. Proclaiming that they had “no merch and no CDs, but they did have a myspace” (getting a laugh from the crowd), the set just went from strength to strength, with the final song featuring a stage invasion from a few Blowgoat members to add some extra vocals for the track. Definitely a band to watch out for.

Third band of the night was Horse In Transit (8/10), whose frontman James was another rather “wired” individual. He was like a man possessed as they took to the stage and he quickly shed his shirt and shoes before headbanging away in his socks! Very big on getting the crowd involved, he got right up in audience members faces as he screamed the lyrics, which I found highly entertaining to watch.

The music was also fantastic; a wonderful mix of heaviness and pure aggression. Surely another band to keep an eye out for in the future. Headlining the gig was the mighty Blowgoat (9/10), and the venue quickly descended into madness, with lead singer Paul barrelling into the crowd as soon as the band started to perform, even managing to cut his head with his microphone at a very early stage of the set.

However, the lack of security quickly became apparent as the mosh pit at the front got extremely violent extremely quickly – more so than I have ever seen at previous shows of theirs. Bassist Barry swiftly tried to deploy some ‘crowd control’,  saying that those who couldn’t take it at the front should head on down to the back, which was definitely a wise suggestion given how crazy it was getting. Of course, this wasn’t really helped by a few individuals being unnecessarily violent as they moved about (never a good idea in as small a space as Floyds) nor the fact that there was a photographer balanced precariously atop of one of the chairs at the front (who could have been seriously injured if she’d been knocked off balance had the chair been hit out of place by an energetic crowd member, which almost happened on multiple occasions).

Thankfully, although worryingly close to the end of the set, some security did step in and managed to bring back some control to the chaos, with the violence morphing into some rather wild dancing! There was still a lot of movement and the party spirit was still very much there, it just wasn’t quite as dangerous and crazy as it had been previously.

The set was just filled with party spirit from start to finish, and the atmosphere in the whole venue was simply amazing as they powered through an immense set, possibly the best one I’ve ever seen them play despite the microphone problems.

The amount of energy from the band onstage was phenomenal and the set closed with another stage invasion, this time from members of Jesse Ventura. Overall, a fantastic night with some insanely good music and crazy performances. I’m actually surprised that Floyds was still standing by the end of it!

http://www.facebook.com/blowgoat

https://www.facebook.com/horseintransit

https://www.facebook.com/JESSEVENTURABAND

About Natalie Humphries 1962 Articles
Soundscape's editor, who is particularly fond of doom, black metal and folk (but will give anything a chance). Likes to travel to see bands abroad when she can. Contact: nathumphries@soundscapemagazine.com or @acidnat on twitter.

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