Gig Review

Black Spiders
Slaves To Gravity, The Kix
Caridff, Clwb IFor Bach
28th April 2010
Black Spiders            Slaves To Gravity       The Kix
Tonight in Clwb Ifor Bach there are barnets to suit most every genre or clique: from skin heads to heads full of untamed locks and indie-surf boy mops to ZZ Top bearded chins. And all are here to rock out with some of the most mentally unstable dudes in modern rock, Black Spiders. With glittering support from Slaves To Gravity and The Kix, not one strand of hair – or lack thereof – will be disappointed.

Girls who play guitars, The Kix, commenced proceedings with outbursts of Fratellis-esque bridges and emo angst tunes amongst pop punk licks to the starter crowd. Versatile and not at all under-talented, although seeming slightly timid under the spotlights made them border on just noise at times, the girls brought on their rock edged indie vibes with a sampler of original material and covers of clichés such as Jet’s Are You Gonna Be My Girl and ACDC’s Whole Lotta Rosie.

Clad head to toe in black threads, with matching guy-liner of course; it wasn’t just the rock musos who were catered for. Subtly layering style credentials underneath modern rock melodies, Slaves To Gravity tick all the right boxes for rockers and fashionistas alike.

Slamming in with a face melting start was merely a sign of things to come for the meagre mob who stood before them. Working harder than a Duracell Bunny but to much less avail, Tommy Gleeson and his slaves poured blood, sweat and tears into every second and not getting much in return didn’t appear to dampen STG’s spirits. If anything, it only encouraged them to play harder; even though after a week of touring and Jager fun, energy levels are sure to be waning.

Energetic rock. Drumming to dance to. Riffs to make you swoon as if Jude Law just walked passed amalgamated for hip swinging, shape shifting club banger. Good Advice slid in as the climactic intro was a mere taste of things to come. That is, face-melting, lung bashing fun complete with manic screaming.

What stands before us is a band with gumption; Gleeson has enough flare to give Brandon Flowers a run for his money while Jase Bowld could possibly be The happiest drummers. The man spent the complete set beaming from ear to ear. It’s hard to fathom why, when great tunes like Dumb and Mr Regulator, stacked with gritty riffs and smokey vocals, the ever growing audience could not be stirred past a mediocre head bob from the back of the venue. Not even Toshi Ogawa’s acrobatics nor Gleeson’s mixture of startled man on the edge expressions and hip shaking could stir the eclectic group.

Until Black Spiders. As their haunting intro of castanet Wild West fitting licks, sidled across and tickled our ears, the boys and girls begin to file forward in anticipation of what’s about to befall them. Filling the front row and beyond are t shirts brandishing logos of Kiss, ACDC, GNR, Bad Religion and Airborne.

Then the headbanging commenced. I believe it is completely safe to say that 100% of Black Spiders look like they have just escaped a mental asylum; namely the drummer, whose manical expression is sufficient to give Freddie Kruger a month of sleepless nights. So unhinged do they appear that I am almost positive at least one was a librarian in a former life.

Covered in floral shirts and star tattoos will attempt to lull you into a false sense of security. Do not be fooled. The psychotic Black Spiders will not melt your face. They will hack it up into little pieces and feed it to your pet dog as they command you to ‘Stay Down’ before launching into a deliciously aggressive reprise of ‘Fuck you Black Spiders’ with the front line and beyond. Spoiling us with tracks Woman and Man’s Ruin and each song dripping in Black Sabbath tones and big rock riffs made for something more than entertaining. I think it was the constant fear of a mass homicide breaking out.

‘What good is a rock without a roll?’ Not much. But the way Black Spiders’ guitarist can switch from physically abusing their axes to stroking them oh so tenderly as if they are embracing a loved one is surely the bigger question to ask. Some would say it’s bipolar. Whatever the diagnosis, perhaps a session with a trained professional wouldn’t hurt in getting shot of the Daisy Duke-dreams in which ‘Kiss Tried To Kill Me’. Echoes and wah wahs used to the max with hauntingly good, psychedelic intro to ‘Kiss’.

One particular crowd member, with a definite Z Boys vibe about hime, rocked out with his Rapunzel esque doo whipping and lashing and hands that never stopped clapping for the whole set. And it didn’t go unnoticed with 3D antics and a special dedication: ‘This is to you. This song is called Man’s Ruin.’

Black Spiders – 4.5/5
Slaves To Gravity - 4.5/5
The Kix - 2.5/5

Review By Jessica Acreman

 The Black Spiders

Coming Soon

 Slaves To Gravity

Tommy Gleeson
Toshi Ogawa
Mark Verney
Jason Bowld

 The Kix

Sam Bolderson (Guitar, Vocals)
Kate Marshall (Bass)
Charlotte Bolderson (Drums)

 Band Related Links
The Black Spiders Myspace
Slaves To Gravity Myspace
The Kix Myspace
 Review Score Code
- Top Cheese
- Brilliant
- Pretty damn good
- Ok I guess
- What Was That?