Written by Eden Jinks
There are multiple signs that you have enjoyed a gig, aching bones, sore joints and maybe some cuts and bruises; for me though, it is a sore face due to the grin that will be on my mug all evening.
It didn’t get off to a great start as Ben McLoed’s (guitarist) pedal board cut out so part way through the opener, Charles William, they abruptly stopped and a large cheer from the crowed rang out. Front man Parks joked that he had to think of some quips quickly though it was not a talent that he possessed. A heckler shouted ‘your mum’ as to an attempt for attention which fell flat. Allan Von Cleave the Rhodes player sat at his instrument calm with Rob Staebler behind the trap air drumming both ready to go when everything was back up and running again.
After a few moments McLoed exclaimed that his pedal could not be fixed so like the pros they are they rocked effortlessly back into the track.
That opening bass line got things going again, with the lead guitar entering and exiting in timely fashion. As they got back into the swing of things there was no stopping them they went from one track to the next sometimes giving the name of the song before hand or just saying ‘this is a song we wrote’ fitting their free attitude not only the music but I feel the men themselves have to life.
Dipping into material from across the vast discography (4 albums, 3 EPs prolific for a band that formed only four years ago) and adding in the top rendition of the relatively unknown cover of Abner Jays’ My Middle Name is the Blues (I recognised that not many people knew it other than me). In addition was the treat of a brand new song off the newly recorded album expected in February 2017, when asked of its name Parks replied ‘3, 5, 7’. Unfortunately it ended before it was supposed to as Parks’ bass was not on though they said they would return to it later they didn’t as the music took over and the jams just filled the remaining time and before you knew it the final song was upon us.
That song was Blood & Sand/Milk & Endless Waters the closing song for the last release (Dying Surfer Meets His Maker, 2015). With it being one of their favourites they played without any constraints and with the same amount of explosiveness that the very first track had they ended on the highest notes. Off they went but as the crowd chanted for one more song they happily obliged and came back on for one very last number.
Once the encore of the drastically different rendition of Swallowed By the Sea had ended the place erupted in applause and screaming to show their appreciation for what they had just witnessed. A very sweaty and exhausted band thanked everyone and wished them a safe journey home then left the stage.
All Them Witches where simply sublime at The Deaf Institute just as they were when I saw them play their first ever show on English soil. A band that are true musicians that riff off each other because the strong chemistry they have. Meaning that they are able to make sure every single show is different from the last or the one to follow. To add to the class set they also smashed the myth of ‘you can’t get ewt for a tenner these days’ as the ticket was £9. It was certainly the best experience you can get under £10 and I left with very sore cheek muscles.
Check out the video for their song Swallowed By The Sea below.