Terms such as legends are thrown around very easily these days, but few bands actually live up to such a grand term. Not only do The Melvins live up to the aforementioned tag, they manage to fit it in more than one scene, pioneering the Seattle scene, as well as playing very important roles in the sludge and punk scenes too. It’s for this reason that when they announced a rare full UK tour that takes in Manchester along its way that it sold out a while before the show took place. A first visit for me to the Gorilla venue and a packed crowd all looked like it was going to be a great night.
First up were Big Business, a duo that it’s easy to forget about in their own right, since they were absorbed into one of the many variations of The Melvins line ups over the years. Jarred Warren (bass, vocals) and Coady Willis (drums), although maybe not quite as well known as the headliners in their own right, have a fan base that is just as passionate and each of the tracks aired tonight are warmly received. A perfect choice as openers, their brand of stoner / sludge an ideal warm up for what is to come.
After a short break, the duo returned, only this time bringing with them Buzz Osborne and Dale Crover. Opening with ‘Onions Make The Milk Taste Bad’ from their most recent release ‘’Hold It In’’, the band tore into a 15 song set that didn’t stop for breath. It was an almost constant 75 minute wall of noise interrupted by a selection of some of the bands best work and plenty more besides. The dual drumming of Crover & Willis is spellbinding. I have been lucky enough to witness it before, but still, it’s almost impossible to take your eyes off the pair alternating between different fills and precision co-operative beats that threaten the very structure of the building. There was some movement in the crowd, but the majority of the crowd simply watched in awe. A couple of pits opened up, mainly during the bands classic cover of the 9 minute Wipers track ‘Youth Of America’ but the majority were happy enough taking in every moment of this performance. Too many highlights to go through, but ‘The Water Glass’ as always shows off the amazing drumming on show, ‘The Bit’ was even heavier than the last time I saw it, there is simply too much to mention. If you are a fan of any kind of heavy music, this band are a must see. But of course everyone knows that by now, don’t they. Another one to go into the best gigs list.
Onions Make The Milk Taste Bad – The Water Glass – Evil New War God – The Bloated Pope – Its Shoved – At The Stake – Civilized Worm – Sweet Willy Rollbar – Bride of Crankenstein – A Growing Disgust – We Are Doomed – Youth Of America – The Bit – Your Blessened – A History Of Bad Men