Oh Werewolf Punching RPNZL
It wasn’t your standard night at the ol’ Poco Loco. For a start, they didn’t have a sign up. This is due to be replaced but in a way I liked the rotting wood. Secondly, I was greeted by a bouncer at the door. That’s right, a bouncer for Poco. I’ve gigged this place for many years and have never come across a bouncer. Turns out that Poco had double booked. The bar could be used by all but the normal gigging area was shut off with a huge curtain and an entrance fee. Turns out it was a Drum n Bass & House night and the bands were situated next door. A mix that you normally assume wouldn’t work but for some reason, It felt quite good. Natural, like this should be the Norm. Apart from the occasional cross of genres (house music introducing a Punching Swans song was a particular highlight) it felt good. Like a venue being used to its full potential.
The extra room, which for tonight had bands on, in my opinion, worked better than the normal room. It’s much bigger, wider and more of an inviting space. The crowds are free to sway to music without having to move for someone who needs to toilet. Personally I think its what you want when watching bands. The crowd is a pick n mix of all ages and species. The music that was on offer tonight is varied to fuck but all have an underlining connection: volume. Loud and fucking good.
I was outside the venue and could hear a band, so I rushed in, purchased a bottle of Newcastle brown and ventured next door. Punching Swans set was delivered with style. I was welcomed by an unbelievably violent screeching yet melodic guitar by Greg Webster, this was complemented by Joe Wise who was in top form, with bass lines running throughout most songs keeping everything so smooth. With some songs the format reversing yet working equally well. Greg has an unreal vocal range that, in my humble opinion, never gets old or grates on you. I’ve heard so many vocalists who try too hard to have an impressive vocal range and It just comes across as weak, tis not the case here my dear Watson. The night felt like a drummers wet dream, I was in la paradise. I was completely empty by the time the night ended and very satisfied. Pablo Paganotto (drummer) is a technical beast he showcased so many different rolls and fills in every song, yet when a straight beat was required there was so much power. It was heavy and on form. A pleasure to listen/watch & enjoy.
Next up from Brighton, Oh Captain. This band has such a sexy as fuck mix of genres that really worked well. A lot of bands try to mix genres and it ends up sounding horribly messy. This wasn’t the case. Hope Rudd (guitars & vocals) reminds me of Iwrestledabearonce old vocalist Krysta Cameron which was very impressive. The music itself was very atmospheric and had some gorgeous three part vocal crossovers. Sadie Browns (drummer) screams reminded me of “Being as the Ocean” vocalist Joel Quartuccio; it had some post-hardcore-ness to it. For some reason I kept hearing tad bits of Incubus & La Dispute-esque in instrumental quieter sections. Hope let us know about her being a gay child growing up in a small town and being invisible but that every one should feel alive and never invisible. This song itself was very powerful but I’d like to see the energy from that song and the last song throughout the set. Not that it wasn’t a great show all round. I just thrive off energy and you smashed it for the last two songs.
Anyway…. I turned sound man for the beginning of this set. I say sound man, I turned this music down and then they played but we all have to start somewhere. I couldn’t complain about having such a great view for the gig. I’ve been a fan of KILL RPNZL for a while and have their EP “Fear Itself” on quite a lot but this is the first time I’ve seen them live for at least a few months, so I was interested to see what their set had become. Every time I see KILL RPNZL I can’t help but hear placebo in Aaron’s softer vocals and some of the instrumental. I’ve always admired the rhythm section of KILL RPNZL, Ollie & Elle you do a stupendous job. Aaron’s screams sound like a fox & an angry goose gangbanging throughout the night. Its something I will always be envious of (the scream, not the gangbang) Most acts have a generic scream but this one is something else. We were treated to some new material and it really is a different level of heaviness for KILL RPNZL along with some melodic beautifulness between the screams.
Originally Punching Swans were meant to headline the night but KILL RPNZL is a solid headline act and they did not disappoint. They are full of hooks & guttural screams that will keep you wanting a little bit more, and I definitely do.
The night itself was rather eventful and was a real show of the talent that will play in our little town. With the right promoter and the right venue great nights can be had in Medway. I hope to be attending a lot more “Elron Presents” nights, as this one was a complete banger.
Well played Elron, Well played.
KILL RPNZL www.facebook.com/Killrpnzl
Oh Captain www.facebook.com/Weareohcaptain
A Werewolf! www.facebook.com/awerewolfawerewolf/
Punching Swans www.facebook.com/PunchingSwans
Photography By David Heritage