It was a damp summer’s evening, which is nothing new there. But in the depths of Plymouth, something surreally magical was brewing. Little did I know it, but I was about to experience an awe-inspiring gig, complete with artists deep-throating mics, and a headliner who’d put the “sass” in assassination.
Opening the event were Pitcher, a local band who I was initially ready to write off after hearing them sound-check. Fortunately however, my ignorant misgivings were entirely wrong, and despite sounding like a newly formed group, the four-piece displayed a powerful potential to evolve into something spectacular, delivering a merciless provision of mouth-watering indie crescendos. Is there any other way to start off an event?
Second on the agenda were Radiosaurus, the lords of tinnitus, (which in this case is a compliment). With filthy lyrics, tasty riffs, grunge influences, and a sound bore of resilience, this Plymouth band were ready to play – and how we were ready to listen! Their stage-presence was confident, audacious, and required your utmost attention, despite not being uncontrollably chaotic or visually impulsive. Some would say that the alt-rock scene is becoming incestuous and stale, yet Radiosaurus proved otherwise.
Shortly following were Hypophora, a group who impressed me on levels that I can’t even begin to articulate. Bursting with a fresh sound that amalgamated alt-rock, funk, and post-hardcore, this four-piece were distinct and gloriously frenzied in their performance. It wasn’t my first time seeing them, but their sound development in the time-lapse between viewings was outstanding, and their newer material sounded like it was growing in a direction that we all very much need to go in. Experimental resonances in music are beautiful, and balancing heavy and soft sounds is an art. Hypophora know this. Hyphophora nailed this.
It wasn’t long until I became eager for my next course, and this one was set to be sickly sweet. There are few pleasures in life like watching a faultlessly dynamic band obliterate a venue; and when Allusondrugs play, you can bet your life that you’ll experience one such delight. It was time.
Emerging upon the stage, the group were a sight for sore eyes, and grunge-pop euphoria was soon thrown manically throughout the venue. Modern rock can often lose its fun side, but Allusondrugs are a band who necessitate the quirky side of the industry, with obscure lyrical themes and experimental musical counterparts. This night, in particular, gave birth to a set that no mere mortal could deny – despite the loss and replacement of Damian Hughes.
The energy within the venue was electric, the volume was high, and there wasn’t a bored face in residence. Highlights included Sunset Yellow, which featured an animated audience’s participation, and gloriously heavy Cherry Pie, which was a head-banging dose of substantial riffs and sass.
Allusondrugs are a group who always deliver, and fourty-five minutes in their presence is never enough. They are one of the finest live bands that our country has to offer, and if you ever have the opportunity to see them, then I recommend it.
Words by Keira Trethowan
Photography by Craig Taylor-Broad