An aesthetically enhanced night of edgy, bold and unadulterated rock.
The line of demarcation between artist and audience within the standard concert format, in the case of large venues, for the most part, is something that may have been quietly testing the commitment of many live enthusiasts prolongingly.
After all, the monopoly that such venues and record labels continue to have, in catering for bands of The Rolling Stones' magnitude amongst more generic popstars, could be perceived to have progressively reduced the concept of performance as an exclusive and solely theatrical one, which not only demands excessive investments for a seat in the far corner of row Z, but also offers little more than an alienating and inauthentic experience for the spectator in return.
However, whilst aestheticians and sonic-art visionaries may continue to forge a resistance in the conceptual realm in the face of such hegemonization, Al Brown
has sought to offer fans the choice to enjoy a bolder, edgier and more intense approach to enjoying live music through his Fluffer Pit Parties
project, which through a unique 360-degree stage
format, essentially invites them into ground zero as part of the musical works themselves, this time at the Hackney Arts Centre
Before proceeding to review the headline act, it is also worth giving mention to the intense and industrious garage-punk of Girls In Synthesis
, the outstanding psychedelic-doom outfit Baba Naga
whose seismic riffs and chimerical atmosphere made it beyond belief that they were only a three-piece (as so many have said about Tony Iommi himself) and the indie-rock but EDM-sensitive Husky Loops
, who through incorporating trap inspired breakbeats and trip-hop inspired sampling sporadically amongst the classic raw qualities of indie, put out a particularly eclectic set. All, therefore, made compelling contributions in their own creative rights to pave the way for Pulled Apart By Horses
, who walked on in the act of positively triggering an already buzzing crowd to Black Sabbath's
classic 'The Wizard'
, who released their fourth studio album Haze
just over a year ago and are accomplished enough to have supported giants including Muse
and Biffy Clyro
in the past, declared themselves on the stage that it was their first gig in a while, since December in fact, but no one would have been any wiser to this as they inherently lived up to their classic combination of stoner rock
with uncompromising vigour as the crowd absorbed and perpetuated an undercurrent which at the most excitable points could be said to have encapsulated the passions
found in an eighteenth-century asylum
. To make matters better still, vocalist Tom Hudson
and lead guitarist James Brown even handed out
cans of lager
in between songs to the delight of those near the front, which the unique format fortunately granted to virtually every spectator through the size of the venue.
Such was the intensity of the performance and the atmosphere that their slot whizzed by in the hour (approximately) to which they occupied, but three particular highlights could be outlined, with two deriving from their latest release. The first features the incandescently catchy lead single from the album, 'The Big What If', which received a rapturous reception; the second (which one would mark as the highlight of the entire evening) being the utterly ineluctable ostinato in the breakdown of 'Lamping', which sounded even more demonically induced than the album version, with a particular moment capturing the band members moving in synchrony with the riff and relentless strobe lighting enveloping the brash euphoria at its height.
Overall then, it is more than fair to say that the Hackney Arts Centre hosted a captivating evening which was enhanced by the naturally good acoustics courtesy of the relatively low ceiling and more room as a whole allowing the sound to breathe for the benefit of the audience's experience. But what maybe tops this with regards to looking at the significance of this as a whole, comprises the third highlight yet to be mentioned: an undeniable sense of being part of something greater; encased in the climax at the end by those with the most energy left to imitate the behaviour of electrons with the band itself serving as the nucleus which united the band and its audience in absolution to allow the event to live up to its raison'd'etre.
If this gig is anything to go by, therefore, it is that a cult legacy is potentially being engraved for Fluffer Pit Parties.
Photo's courtesy of Fluffer.