Evil Blizzard‘s unique live experience rolls into London at the cosy and intimate Barfly in North London. On the back of releasing a corker of an album “Everybody Come to Church“, remarkably recorded in one day, their stage act is centred on improvisation and very rarely leaves anyone sitting on the fence or immune to forming an opinion. Quite simply, like Marmite, it’s a love or hate thing.
So it’s quite odd seeing members of the band out of costume setting up prior to hitting the stage, but worry not as these are not some Kiss-style unmasked antics as they duly arrive on stage in full garb to invoke dark nightmares of your past. In no time at all opening track ‘Sacrifice’ ignites the mosh pit into life, which never lets up for the entire show. For the first few songs difficulties with the stage monitors don’t impede too much on the immense sound of four bassists, pedal effects and tight rhythmic drumming forming a blistering post-punk, psych-noise swirl.
They boast stage presence in abundance, clearly knowing how to deliver. And it can’t be easy playing in facemasks with the heat this old-fashioned venue generates – that’s right, not a even slight breeze of any kind of air conditioning. So it’s no surprise the vast majority of the set consists of the said current album. The introduction on stage of newest member Mop Man during ‘Are You Evil?’ is both frightening and capital letters FUN in equal measure. Dressed in paper bag, Evil Blizzard dungarees and standing centre of stage giving the audience generous amounts of two stiff little finger salutes with, of course, the occasional mopping of the floor, is top notch theatrical entertainment. This extends into Mop Man roaming around in the crowd knighting people like the Queen with his mop and handing out E.B. business cards for taking part in such bizarre etiquette.
The crowd’s reaction throughout this sold out show clearly states the message: it’s a love thing. Although there are hints of a more honed performance rather than an overt exercise in improvisation, this may be attributed to frequent current live action. But who cares how much they prepare or not when they deliver such a first class display as they do tonight.
Special mention should go to the very kind ladies on the merchendise stall as they looked after my epileptic mate’s coat while he persevered to enjoy the show while courageously coping with the strobe light.