They have put on years of fantastically eclectic and mind-expanding shows over the last few years, from Melt-Banana, to Bohren, to Stephen O’Malley and Aluk Todolo, to the Cosmic Dead and a whole heap more, and that’s merely in the last couple of months. So it’s pretty exciting that Baba Yaga’s Hut are stepping up from an all-dayer a while ago to a full-on three day Raw Power festival, at Tufnell Park’s Boston Music Room and The Dome venues. I threw a few questions over to Anthony, who’s been booking the bands for a year and half, about what’s in store for the psychedelic wig-out faithful.
(((0))): What’s the Baba Yaga’s Hut philosophy for the shows you put on? And what have been the main highlights in your time at Baba Yaga’s Hut so far?
Definitely since I've been here Melt-Banana was a massive highlight last week. Totally blown away! Teeth of the Sea, Evil Blizzard & Bass Clef in Jana recent highlight too. We try to put on left-field heavy music, psych rock, space-rock, weird electronics and the like. It's hard to put into words but I definitely have it in my head what a Baba Yaga's band is!
(((0))): What was the inspiration for starting a festival?
We had a ton of brilliant bands we wanted to put on and thought, why not try to do it like this?!
(((0))): Which band/s are you most excited to see, now the line-up is complete?
Very excited to be putting on Bo Ningen again. They are a band that I have worked with for years but over the last couple of years their popularity has blown up and it's been a while they are sure to storm it. I’m also really looking forward to seeing Richard Pinhas, who hasn't played in London for years. I wasn't that familiar with his stuff but some friends are massive fans.
(((0))): What lesser-known bands you’ve picked do you think will blow everyone away
The Comet is Coming are an act I've been looking forward to seeing. Pretty new and sounding like one of the best new things going right now.
(((0))): What’s going to make this festival stand out from other events as really amazing?
I think we have a very specific type of audience in mind, and have booked what we hope is an incredible lineup for that specific type of thing. If what we normally do is the kind of thing you’re into, then you will LOVE this!
As for me, having seen Acid Mothers Temple at all manner of venues over at least the last decade, it will be great to hear how they sound at the end of a long Saturday of great bands. I’m sure hearing the familiar chimes of the “Pink Lady Lemonade” riff will be a highlight. And I’m intrigued to see Clinic’s off-kilter postrocky style on Friday.
The heavy Riot Season contingent of Henry Blacker, Hey Colossus, and Bad Guys I’m sure will do justice to the Birmingham label’s impeccable reputation for all that’s intriguing on the farther shores of noisy and revelatory rock music these days. Having been recently swept up in the chaos when Terminal Cheesecake recently turned a Bristolian crypt into a sweaty pit of lunacy, I can testify to their unabated power for pulsing mind-expanding, body-overriding trance rock, so am keen to get reacquainted with all of that nonsense too. I’m most definitely looking forward to seeing the sludgy growls of Early Mammal and Teeth of the Sea’s psych for the first time, while the combination of seeing some vaguely familiar names on the schedule, and my complete faith in Baba Yaga’s music philosophy mean that I’m certain there will be some unexpectedly rewarding ear-opening moments elsewhere too.
Bo Ningen have passed me by a little, I have to admit, though when when Acid Mothers mainman Kawabata Makoto resurrected the gloriously monstrous Mainliner last year, I did enjoy seeing the androgynous ghost of Bo Ningen’s Taigen throwing around elbows, knees and bass riffs at impossible angles.
The most important question of all, however, is whether Mainliner can be pressed into playing their world-destroying side-long track ‘M’ from the (also recently reissued) Mellow Out - a monumentally heavy riff epic that stands as a high-point of psychedelic noise emanating from Japan. I made sure my demand was heard, and Anthony (perhaps in slight nervousness at my wild-eyed zealotry) promised to pass that on to Makoto and the band…
Anyway, regardless of the finer points of Mainliner’s setlist, Raw Power looks set to be an incredible addition to London’s festival weekends, and a great chance to see Baba Yaga’s great taste in bands extended over three days. Tickets are right here: https://babayaga.ticketabc.com/events/baba-yagas-hut-pr-30/ See you there!