By Louis Amor, Third Year Zoology
Having seen Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs only a few weeks prior to this show, I walked into the venue with immense excitement knowing I would probably leave very sweaty and with my ears loudly ringing. This would be the exact state I left in a few hours later!
The evening opened with two fantastically engaging support acts who brought a great energy to a steadily growing crowd. You could not take your eyes off ĠENN’s vocalist, Leona Farrugia, who provided a powerful performance whilst dancing non-stop around the stage. Bonnacons of Doom had a cultist presence and sound to them, with the band all wearing round mirrored masks, reflecting their view of the crowd back at us. The exception, however, was vocalist Kate Smith, dressed up in an elegant purple and gold robe.
It was a short wait before Pigs (x7) kicked off the show with the thunderous ‘Mr Medicine’, a thrilling single from their new album Land of Sleeper. Despite being a short track, the loud, fast paced, and distorted riffs immediately defined the show we were in for. It wasn’t long before the front half of the crowd reciprocated that energy as you would expect them to, pushing and shoving each other.
Despite the frantic disorder of the crowd, there was one man who remained completely in control throughout the show, vocalist Matthew Baty. He is perhaps the most entertaining front man I’ve ever seen. His movements are intense; marching around the stage, throwing his arms, legs, and head around with so much effort it is like he is putting all his power into every move. He also made hilarious chat with the audience between songs, claiming “you have all bought a ticket to the UK’s best value holographic show”.
Whether the band members were actually holograms or not, the energy in that room was definitely real, as crowd surfers were chucked toward the stage and the band continued to belt out head-splitting tracks off their new record. A particular highlight for me was ‘Big Rig’, which starts with a slow, fuzzy but fierce riff which literally shook the room. The pace then picks up suddenly, turning almost punk-esc as Baty yells about the current state of the world and his desire to turn things around for future generations. These bursts of energy are separated by the hard-hitting single line chorus, “This is how we survive”, which was delivered almost hauntingly in places.
Land of Sleeper is primarily about the dread many of us feel about the future, but seeing these tracks blasted with the passion that the band have for their sound was tremendously uplifting. It felt like both the band and audience were collectively letting their troubles pour out, whether that was through moshing, singing, or just letting the unbelievable sound and energy wash over. Either way, it left the vast majority of the audience with beaming smiles across their faces, everyone was having fun, and in that room that’s all that mattered.
What amazed me the most about this set was the maintenance of energy throughout its entire length. Even when the pace was slowed down, the menacing stage presence of the band and sheer volume of the music made it feel like the room was going to burst with noise at any moment. I particularly felt this during the progressive track ‘The Weatherman’, a ritualistic song during which the band was joined by Kate Smith from the support act Bonnacons of Doom. The tension of this moment of the show made me feel almost claustrophobic, before erupting into the expansive second half, ending with probably my favourite moment of the whole show, the exclamation of “there’s a storm coming!”
Before ending the evening, Baty treated the audience to some fun facts his fellow band mate Adam Ian Sykes had collected about Bristol, most of which were either slightly wrong, or completely false. While it is true Bristol is the “birthplace of Black Beard”, he definitely did not “go on to build the Clifton suspension bridge”.
Featured Image: Louis Amor
Have you ever seen Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs live?