Welcome to the third and final part of our Desertfest 2018 preview, where, obviously, we shall be taking a look at Sunday (Day 3) of the Camden-based riff party.
Now, one of the jobs of this here preview is to encourage the ticket-less reader to go ahead and buy a ticket for said festival, so here goes. . . MONSTER FUCKING MAGNET, HAWKWIND, NEBULA, ELDER and MONOLORD are playing, TOGETHER in one place for one night only!!! Holy fucking fuzz pedals, what more encouragement do you need? If you like stoner and psych and plan on still being alive in May then why the hell wouldn’t you go?
Headliners Monster Magnet have a new album coming out, Mindfucker, which sounds like it’s going to be full of no-nonsense bangers, whilst Hawkwind (surely at Dave Wyndorf’s request) have the recently, well received Into The Woods to promote. And if you don’t care about the new stuff, well then I’m guessing both bands have a shitload of classic tunes you’ll want to hear in the impressive and fabulous acoustic surroundings of The Roundhouse.
Nebula, more giants of the stoner scene, return after a long hiatus to bring us yet more of their classic rock-imbued psych, another coup for Desertfest, who have a habit of getting legends to reform for our pleasure. Now, Elder and Monolord fill up the lower order of the bill in mighty style, with both having produced not only their best albums to date in 2017, but two of the finest metal albums of last year. It really is a bloody feast of rock and I know several people who have said they don’t intend being anywhere but The Roundhouse for the entire day. If, however, you are hungry for stranger, darker and perhaps more exotic fruits then the rest of the bill can surely provide. . .
Over at The Underworld, North Carolina’s Weedeater are headliners, with their, frankly, colossal sludge sound likely to bring the house down, and fingers crossed that crazed frontman “Dixie” Dave Collins doesn’t shoot off any more of his digits before then. On before them are the even heavier Denver trio Primitive Man whose death/doom hybrid will put the fear of god into you – I seriously recommend earplugs. Swedes Suma provide a marginally less blackened sonic palette with their sample-heavy, spaced-out doom, which fans of Ufomammut will enjoy, myself included. There’s also the heavy grooves of Bison earlier in the day to swing your horns to.
The unofficial headquarters of Camden’s metal universe and the de facto club house for Desertfest, The Black Heart hosts its usual cavalcade of noisy bastards, with New York’s trippy power-trio King Buffalo presiding. Their stoned, mellow vibe kind of runs against the super-heaviness of a lot of the bill and may be just what Doctor Rock ordered after a weekend of skull-crushing sounds. Also worth catching are the truly spooky Chrch, from Sacramento, whose blackened, gothic doom brings a bit of welcome theatricality and an even more welcome female presence in vocalist Eva Rose, in what is otherwise a pretty serious sausage-fest. Also worth catching are Cali stoner-doom outfit Blackwülf as they utilise a lot of pleasingly classic rock-guitar tones and put me in mind of Trouble, which is of course very high praise! Oh, and Elder’s drummer, Matt Couto’s other band Kind (a stoner supergroup, it rather optimistically says here) will also be laying down some heavy jams on the day.
There’s a truncated line-up at The Devonshire Arms (or The Dev as it’s known), but it features some interesting newbies, and it’s nice to see Necromancers from France given a slot, proving it is isn’t just UK, US and Scandinavian acts that turn up at Desertfest. The Necromancers sound a real prospect, their driving, psych-tinged metal has hints of both Ghost and Gojira, so this is your chance to get up-close and personal before fame and bigger rooms beckon. The Dev also hosts Solleme, a Brighton act with only a demo to their name their progressive, tricksy hardcore meets death metal also offers something different.
If you are still reading this and haven’t already opened another tab to purchase tickets, then thanks for sticking around and I’ll see you, as ever, at the bar. Altogether now “Space Lord Mother. . .”