King Witch at Bannerman's Bar

Support: Dark Matter| The Grudge | Somaesthesia
September 15, 2018 at Bannerman's Bar
Promoter: Red Crust Promotions

Arriving fashionably late, I unfortunately missed Somaesthesia, but I have it from a reliable source very close to the noise, that they were ‘fucking heavy’.

Next up on the bill were London stoner rockers, The Grudge, who play stoner in the vein of Orange Goblin and they do it fantastically. There must be something in the water in London, as the band play their brand of stoner in an incredibly tight manner, whilst sounding every bit as big as Orange Goblin. The band hit with huge riffs, guitar histrionics, and an all-round great energy.

Dark Matter were the next band. Dark Matter are an instrumental band who play tight modern metal and present a nice variety in the billing. Dark Matter’s music has heavy shades of Devin Townsend’s solo outings. The band achieve a really nice mix of out and out heavy, and ethereal melody. The band are a three piece but utilise backing tracks of keys to bring an extra dimension to their music. The band are devoid of vocals and barely indulge in stage talk, preferring to let their music do the talking.

All the bands were great, but the night belongs to King Witch. The band approach the live experience like true professionals, from their backdrop, to the way they kick off proceedings. Impressive for a still relatively new band. The band open with ‘Carnal Sacrifice’ from their album Under the Mountain and they immediately find their groove. The band have a great stage presence. Laura Donnelly knows how to work the stage when she is not singing, and the band are tight and exude a phenomenal energy. Jamie Gilchrist peels off riffs with ease. Underpinning everything is Lyle Brown’s thunderous drumming in sync with new bassist Rory Lee who clearly fits right in with his new role.

The band keep the audience enraptured, even when they preview a new song; always a risky venture live. The song, a chunky, groovy number which portends well for the band’s future offerings, goes down as well as more established songs.

The band round off the night as energetically as they started and, just as I was about to head for the door, chants of “one more song” ring out from the back of the room all the way to the front. The band graciously respond by playing ‘Solitary’ from their debut album, and after a false start, with Jamie’s guitar in the wrong tuning, the band plough through an unrehearsed encore. I left feeling that the audience would have stood happily through a whole extra set by King Witch, such is the power they commanded tonight.

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