Words: David Creamer, Photo Credit: Becky Callaghan
A low rumble dredged it’s way toward Manchester’s Sound Control, and that rumbling came in the form of NOLA sludge legends EYEHATEGOD. Often described as sounding what BLACK SABBATH would sound like if they were a punk band, these gentleman sure do know how to put on such an amazing show and because of this are obviously well liked among their adoring fans. Absolutely nobody in the audience could really anticipate what the night held before them.
First onto the stage were Manchester’s very own sludge band, NOMAD, which are slowly becoming quite popular among the ranks. They took to the stage and began hitting the crowd as hard as they could with tasteful sludgey, blues inspired riffs. From this band’s performance live however, you couldn’t help but shake the impression that half of the members didn’t even want to play this show as their body language suggested boredom perhaps? This affected their playing somewhat, much not as much as the terrible sound mixing which greatly let them down. The bass guitar was way too loud and overpowered the guitar so much that it was only just audible thanks to the heavy distortion. Vocals were painfully quiet, taking away any impact that the harsh and ragged voice behind the mic was meant to have. The drums remained stable in the mix, and sounded amazing, with a beautifully bass rich snare drum pounding away through the music. Lots of mixed feelings about this band’s live show, as some factors were not within their control. Yet they still tried, and after improvements were made to their sound between songs, the crowd finally got jamming.
Next came the punk quartet from Liverpool, SIEGE MENTALITY, and where mistakes were made during NOMAD’s set, they certainly were not repeated here. These guys invaded the stage and quickly began their onslaught without much time for us to think about their playing. Most notably, the sound engineering was much improved as each member of the band finally got equal sound on the stage, so much so that the bass guitar mingled perfectly with the buzzing distortion of the guitar, yet the raspy vocals still battled their way through to be heard. In addition to the punk, they also brought some more sludge to the table as well, with entire crowd fairly mesmerised during their set as they ripped through song by song with ease of playing. These guys seemed more enthusiastic about their music and the fans that came to see them too. Nevertheless, these guys put on an excellent performance and really got people prepared for the highlight of the evening.
With everybody patiently but excitedly anticipating the arrival of EYEHATEGOD onto the stage, there was something in the air telling us that this was going to be a good show. And it wasn’t the faint scent of cannabis. Beginning things off with their trademark haunting feedback, the room quickly descended into an excitable mass of roars, cheers and chants chanting EYEHATEGOD over and over. All the hiccups to do with sound were long gone, and thankfully so. These guys live sound is absolutely phenomenal, almost recreating the sound found on their recent self-titled LP. MIKE’s curdled milk voice reigned supreme through the mix, with all string instruments getting equal say in the sludge. And the drums. Oh the drums sounded perfect once again, with a rich bass ridden snare and a monster of a player behind the kit. These guys had the perfect live sound, and wasted nothing in using it.
One of the key features of EYEHATEGOD’s performance was the satisfying variety in the setlist. Each album got quite a meaty spot in the show, and each song flowed into another perfectly. Some songs were played that aren’t normally debuted live as well, for example, both versions of Methamphetamine being showcased. A very satisfying array of songs, just a shame classics such as Depress or Left to Starve didn’t make it into the set, but this is well and truly made up for.
With the crowd going absolutely mental for the NOLA sludge legends, what really made the show memorable was EYEHATEGOD’s connection to the audience and the obvious enjoyment they got out of seeing their adoring fans love every moment of their performance. EYEHATEGOD sure as hell know how to play one epic show.
Check out our exclusive photo gallery of the night’s action in Manchester below!