Being the first time that I’ve ever been there, Ding Dong Lounge was a little smaller than I expected. Lit like a sixties hippie club with a nice large bandroom which can be identified in a way as “out the back” felt cosy and inviting in a mysterious sort of way. A lot of the bands tonight certainly gave off that crazy, quiet, dark vibe in various ways.
In first act had a percentage of crazy that overrode the quiet and dark. Zanzibar Chanel consisted of a guy behind a computer live mixing beats and a guy yelling monotone phrases. It wasn’t so bad really, but the lack of light just made it feel we were all in a dodgy warehouse rather than an established venue. Giving off some sort of dank vibe, the duo finished up by dancing with the formidable crowd at the end of their set, so it may just have been my anticipation of the more downbeat music to come.
I’m pretty sure there would have been a creeping version of Michael Jackson’s <
"Thriller" dance routine to influence the room as The Process opted for an even darker light show. It seemed to suit the tone of what they were playing in a way, with swinging guitars and booming basses coming through the PA at an insane volume. It’s probably a cliché for instrumental rock bands to evoke that sense of doom, but there was a feeling The Process recognised that. Later into their set a weird warped feeling wrapped around their set instead with squalling noises and screaming vocals just taking over.
The Night Terrors have that mix of spooky, space and cosmic within their sounds. It’s reflected on their recorded work, but is much more amazing when seen live. While the light on stage actually brightened up a little bit, there was an amazing feeling of travelling through some sort black hole. There was a fear that an overuse of the thermin in the band was going to make it a hard slog, but it wasn’t the case. The instrument was used sporadically, allowing for the synths and keyboards to take on the action in the most upfront way. It’s sometimes said that guitars smash your face in with instrumental rock, but keyboards were the superstar with The Night Terrors tonight.