I remember very much enjoying Amusement Parks on Fire’s majestic LP ‘Out of Angeles’ which was, wow, over 10 years ago. They kind of fell off my radar (apparently they moved to LA and there was a 3rd LP which passed me by entirely). I presumed they’d joined the ‘great lost bands of the 00s’ list, so was pleased to learn they were back on, and coming to Gullivers (the fine old Manchester pub, not the Theme Park I hasten to add).
I feel like hearing some new bands so I get there in time to see the supports they’ve brought along. First up is Sewage Farm. Sewage Farm?! They’re actually a decent, grungy power trio with some big, spirited, soaraway tunes and a rib-cage rattling bass sound. They’re from York, and they sound like they’re thoroughly gigged-in and ready to tear up your festival, illegal rave, squat-party, wherever their tour van takes them.
Next up are Misty Coast, hailing from Bergen in Norway, and things get a bit more cerebral, but no less powerful. They’ve a majestic, swirly and psychedelic sound with some electronic backing and almost Cocteau Twins-like, heavily processed vocals, and atmospheric songs – but they’re upbeat and not afraid to hit the FX pedals and let rip. Tasty.
APoF open, amid flickering strobe lights and back projections, with their excellent new track ‘Our Goal to Realise’ and it dawns on me this is going to be a bit special. There’s a lot of love in the room for the band and this is one of those great little gigs where everyone’s up for it, and into it. If you’re not familiar with the band, they make huge, epic songs that I guess you’d have to say are influenced by Shoegazing (I loathe that term) but they’re closer to say, Swervedriver in that they edge toward a harder, grungier sound. They also have a few cheeky odd little time signature changes and unexpected chord twists that remind me of bands like Mew or Pinback (we’re into Steve “Interesting” Davis territory here). They really go for it, they make a wonderful, exhilarating racket and they have a way of doing break-downs and build ups that gives me goose bumps. Their drummer is particularly amazing, and they have a clever trick of projecting him onto the backdrop via hidden cameras every so often so you can follow what he’s doing. There is much dancing in the crowd (no shoegazing) and even the odd tempo change can’t wrong-foot the APoF faithful. An hour passes by in a heartbeat, and the band finish with an avalanche of feedback and beautiful noise.
They may be coming to your town – now on their way to Bristol, Oxford, Nottingham, Birmingham and London
Enthusiastic, and a good turn out for a rainy Monday night. Lots of people know every word and I suspect have been looking forward to this as long as I have.
It made me think..
Excellent stuff, worth waiting 10 years for, they really should do this more often and I hope they’re here to stay. I also get to plug some gaps in my collection and pick up their excellent debut LP and some EPs – note to bands – bring your back catalogue to sell!