2017, you’ve been killer so far. A year in which I have discovered so many insane new bands, I wanted to a do a feature on the best 5 live bands I’ve discovered, as live music is where it’s at. Some of these bands I had heard of before the start of the year but not yet seen live, others are beautiful majestic discoveries I’ve made on random nights out. Big up all the bands involved, and please go check them out live when you can (trust me, you’ll wanna). Head to my playlist at the end to check out some of my favourite tracks; all beautiful pieces of art, the music floating around right now is absolute quality, so go check ’em out.
A lucky discovery I made at Reading on the Jack Rocks/ This Feeling Stage, Avalanche Party are insane. They create this harrowingly brooding explosion of post punk filth, with this hectic riotous feel on stage. As a five piece, their sound is nothing short of intense. There’s a feel of brooding intimidation, with lead vocalist Jordan almost coming across as possessed. Tracks like I’m So Wet and Solid Gold are insane pieces of music, with these raw thrashing build ups which tore that stage at Reading to pieces. It’s refined post punk music, with a bitter twisted edge giving Avalanche Party something raw and riotous and filthy. This nasty raucousness has a mosh pit feel, and their live aura is breathtaking, intimidating, and enticing all in one. Using keys, a bass and two guitars builds up a sense of dark thrashing rock music, which packs a forceful bite of power live. Garage dark rock’n’roll with a post punk bite is how I’d describe Avalanche Party, a lethal combination which is deadly live.
Dirty Orange, the name first of all is sick. “We’re dirty (George and Connor) and he’s orange (Scott).. And it sounds fucking cool as” the band told me in a recent interview. I heard of the band a while back and fell in love with the dark grit and post punk grunge bite their music had. I love the heaviness and richness of the bass guitar, and Dirty Orange make the most of the instrument, playing riffs on the bass and amplifying it up and up to give their tracks really solid strong foundations. Tracks like Too Much and Julie You Ain’t No Clara have fast become favourites of mine, with the raw distorted vocals complimenting the gritty distortion of the guitar perfectly. I recently caught the band live at Nambucca, and what an insane way to start the night they were. The band are ridiculously tight, with this solid meticulous aura of perfection running through their sets, but with enough post punk edge and carelessness to it too to give them that abrasive arrogance on stage.
Back in June I went so see BlackWaters headline The Social in London, Naked Six being a last minute addition to the lineup. I didn’t know what to expect, but fuck they were unbelievable. A three piece at the time (bassist Caleb has since left the band), Naked Six embody the filthiness and rawness of post grunge punk perfectly. Their on stage sound is heavy and vivid, yet tight as hell too. Riff wise they could play riffs for days, understanding the crucial points of rock’n’roll and knowing exactly how to make a post punk track click in that way. What I loved about Naked Six was the filthy sense of purity they had. It was honest, open punk music, with an almost nostalgic old school feel yet something very modern and fresh intertwined too. They ripped that tiny stage at The Social to bits, those heavy pounding riffs echoing throughout the venue. It’s neo-punk rock, with grunge and garage vibes chucked into the mix too, full to the brim with Hendrix/ Zeppelin-esque grit.
Shoegaze, neo-psych indie rock is embodied perfectly by London five piece 485C. The band are one of the most interesting, unique bands out there, one who could have easily stepped out of some underground 90s warehouse or an 80s indie dance bar. The band have a raw nostalgic feel, almost like Joy Division or The Smiths, but have a fresh vibrant edge which they build up through their stunningly polished tracks. Tracks by the band like Manic Filters and In My Cell are magical pieces of art, simply stunning live. The band play three, sometimes four, guitars at the same time, making for a bold powerful on-stage sound. Lead vocalist Adam often stands still too, swaying his hips ever so gently as he screams those vicious vocals into the mic. I love the unorthodox and borderline Avant-garde edge the band have, which transcend insanely well on stage. The tightness of the band is what makes their sound so good; each riff has been written with meticulous skill to balance out the other guitars, as well as to compliment the filthy rawness and gravely punch that is Adam’s voice. I caught the band for the first time at The Horn, and remember just standing there for the entirety of their set completely blown away. Big up the 485C lads.
A three piece I’d been aware of for well over a year thanks to Wonk Unit and False Heads’ Luke, I finally caught Calva Louise live at the Windmill Brixton back in April. I knew they’d be good, as their pure punk sound is evident on record, but I didn’t expect them to be that good. What is so special about Calva Louise is how well all the components of the band’s music fit together. Ben is an incredible drummer, some of his riffs and loops are unbelievably good. As a bassist Alizon is lethal, with front woman Jess simply being blinding. Her crazy shredding and riffs are mindblowing, and she manages to play in such a way whilst delivering some of the sickest vocals ever. Her screams and raw screeches build up the punk intensity of the band’s sound perfectly. The raw heaviness of their music is cutting edge, with a blinding dark angst and passion bubbling beneath those killer riffs and vocals. The vicious immensity to Calva Louise is revitalising the idea of punk music, and they provide you with a dose of pure, real punk.
Notable mentions also to Strange Bones, BlackWaters, J.W. Paris, False Heads, Rosko, Dead Pretties and LIFE
Listen to these bands below (and thank me later x)