We arrived at the pub in time for a pint or two before we were finally admitted into the relatively small and curiously decked-out back room that would host the release party for Anthroprophh’s self-titled album.
Then, having watched Paul Allen, Gareth Turner and Jesse Webb (Anthroprophh and Big Naturals collectively) eat their tea of pie ‘n’ mash, we watched them tinker with their kit and set up for the show.
We slipped out for a short while to ogle the impressive merch stall which initially sported tons of GNOD vinyl and CDs, and was eventually topped with vinyl copies of the The Heads recent Cardinal Fuzz release plus of course the Anthroprophh album and the limited CD-R produced for the various launch parties. Clutching our albums we wandered back to the room to watch setting up gradually morph into the first set, which was somewhat curiously (and fortuitously as it panned out) performed by Anthroprophh and Big Naturals.
So, to the show. A gentle lead-in lulled us into a false sense of tranquillity with regard to sustained sonic onslaught that was to follow. Jesse Web led the charge throughout, relentlessly pounding the drums, occasionally assisted by Gareth Turner who alternated between drums, keyboards and guitars (bass and lead IIRC), with occasional turns at the microphone. Paul Allen road atop this thundering, pulverising rhythm, hosing us all down with plasma-like guitar and occasional stints at the keyboard. It was equal parts space rock, noise rock and Krautrock to my mind, and we’re not talking about the twiddly-twee variety of space rock either, but the staring into the insanity-inducing radioactive void variety. I am assuming that there were vocals, since Paul and Gareth both stepped up to the mics and appeared to be singing, although little or nothing could be heard of it in the mix. Bizarrely there were passages when no one was near a mic where I swear I could hear voices, which only added to the sense of body and mind displacement already induced by the incredible music.
Having listened to Anthroprophh (the album) since the gig, I would say the live show was closer in many respects to the Big Naturals eponymous debut album, with Anthroprophh being a more considered affair, relatively speaking.
Sadly we didn’t get to see GNOD do their thing on account of transport hassles and real life bursting in on us, but I think we both went away pretty content regardless. I gather GNOD did an electronic set somewhat akin to their recent Trensmat release, which would doubtless have been awesome to experience live, but which disappoints me less than missing their full-on rock line-up if I am honest.
With thanks to Alan Last for the pictures…