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Day 1 of Fuzz Club Festival had set the bar impossibly high. There had been 6 outstanding performances on Friday, the promise of 8 more on Saturday was a dizzying prospect.

The dizziness is quickly reigned in, with the inevitable news that Wall Of Death, understandably, would no longer be joining us. The sickening reality of the slaughter in Paris inescapable. “Terror” will not prevail, the show must and will go on…

Highlights from the camaraderie at The Shacklewell Arms after party the night before, come in the guise of those little gems of stories. Stories that the tongue loosening effects of a few beers, readily elicit.

Such as the little known fact that Desert Mountain Tribe drummer, Felix Jahn has his own signature Ale, being served up on those very premises. You may well ask what a native of Cologne is doing brewing Ale in London? Well, such is the cultural diversity within this musicological microcosm! Keep your eyes peeled for the definitive psychedelic beer brewers guide – coming to these pages, soon.

Then there was the strange tale of the recent, Portuguese UFO incident – as witnessed by 10 000 Russos‘ very own Pedro Pestana! A series of mysterious glowing discs, moving erratically through the night sky, had all but scrambled the Força Aérea Portuguesa interceptors. It transpired that the latest wedding fashion accessory, is the release of glowing balloons! I for one far preferred the UFO theory. I hate it when the facts get in the way of a close encounter of the third kind…

As if buoyed by Felix’s brewing prowess, Eddie and I chance upon the Cock Tavern in Hackney Central as a fitting precursor to Saturday’s showdown. With a bewilderingly fine selection of Ales on offer, we quickly forget about the dismal weather outside. Settling down to a couple of hours of putting the world to rights, Kvasir’s Mead Of Poetry, working it’s mythological magic.

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photo by Eddie J Doherty

The Orange Revival are first to emerge from heaven’s gate. I had been utterly transfixed by their recent ‘Futurecent‘ LP release. Their golden orange hues, not unlike the Mead I had presently been imbibing. Here I drink long and heartily from the font of their collective creativity. Their consummate unwavering presence, left me sated in the warm afterglow of a performance, writ large on the psychedelic pantheon.

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photo by Ian Robertson – see gallery here

Dead Rabbits were one of the bands who had fallen foul of the overlaps at Eindhoven Psych Lab. I had only caught the tail-end of that show and was determined to make amends on this ebullient occasion. “Blow(ing) the bloody doors off” the “Light Arch”, with ‘It’s All In Her Head’ from 2013’s, ‘The Ticket That Exploded’ is a sublime moment. It’s not easy taking pictures, when you are attempting an improv approximation of a whirling dervish! Dead Rabbits excel at the spiralling anthem, tonight proves the delirious fervour, surrounding their live performances and growing reputation.

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photo by Ian Robertson – see gallery here

The Janitors. Just typing the name gives me goosebumps! The attentive astronauts among you, will be well aware that it was The Janitors, who gave me the necessary ammunition and impetus to get this blog up and running in the first place. The release of their ‘Evil Doings Of An Evil Kind’ EP, providing a droning, raging soundtrack – railing against the repressive right-wing plague stalking Europe. The same hateful rhetoric, ultimately responsible for the deaths in Paris. As Gandhi prophetically observed, “An eye for an eye only ends up making the whole world blind.”

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The Janitors Setlist

Something is rotten in the state of amplification! It is clear that Henric is struggling with technical issues, almost from the get go. The stökpsych of ‘Strap Me Down’ shakes the mortar from the walls, along with any remaining cobwebs, lurking in those dark recesses of the mind; ‘Greed’, spotlights the root cause of humanity’s plight. It’s eastern harmonies, a warning from history on the west’s inexorable decay; ‘Fire Hole’ is, I think, one of the new songs they are working on, from the eagerly anticipated new album; ‘Neverever’ is a song I neverever tire of hearing or playing, it’s hypnotic charm weaves it’s magick on me, every time I hear it’s chiming melody; ‘A-Bow’ is another smouldering drone mästerverk; The storming sparseness of ‘Here They Come’, almost lifts the lid. The brooding dark arts presence, extolling awareness, tolerance and understanding; Closing track ‘Blizzard’, again hints at further greatness to come with the new record. A record I can’t wait to have and to hold. The Janitors are special, tonight just goes to reminding us all why.

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photo by Ian Robertson – see gallery here

How in the hell do you follow The Janitors? That’s easy, with lashings of Mugstar of course! To my eternal shame, ligging it up at Psych Lab 2014, had deprived me of seeing Mugstar on that night in Eindhoven. Amends had been partially made, witnessing the part rapture of the Sunrise Session with 10 000 Russos at Valada this year, but here at long last was the full monty. If the vinyl groove these, “Psychedelic / Space / kraut Rock”, pioneers have mastered is anything to go by, we are in for something of a treat. Immediately, faces and surroundings begin to melt, akin to being ensnared within Dali’s ‘Persistence Of Memory’. The weight and pressure of this juggernaut performance is absolute, gravity is momentarily suspended before returning with a crushing vengeance. You know it’s good when you find yourself pulling shapes and gurning like a champion. The Mugstar effect is in full force this evening, and I for one am fucking delighted to have witnessed it.

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photo by Ian Robertson – see gallery here

Lola Colt are another band I’d been aching to see. I’d needed this since reviewing ‘Driving Mr Johnny’ over a year ago, describing it, “With trademark soaring vocals and tequila-soaked, jangling cinematic riffage, Lola Colt are quite literally a band apart. Singer, Gun Overby shares her deoxyribonucleic acid with Patti Smith and Grace Slick at their primal zenith. This six-piece deliver an enveloping wall of sound which by equal measures, can be menacingly bombastic and hauntingly melancholic.” It had left me at the time with that queasy sense of unease, that elusive sickness, the psychological one that comes with separation anxiety. Even as the band limber up, there is an air of tension, a sense that something wider than wide-screen is about to unfold. The assured instrumentation and visceral vocals, are stupefying in their sonorous splendour, if I died now I’d die happy.

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photo by Ian Robertson – see gallery here

The Cult Of Dom Keller engage overdrive launch sequence, and we are on our fucking way. ‘Nowhere To Land’ morphs live, into a supermassive psychedelic behemoth. Incredible, mind-looping stuff. Fuzz Club Split Single track, ‘Behind All Evil Is A Black Hole’, continues the menacingly uneasy grip. The Light Arch is literally heaving with the adoring throng. ‘Eyes’, weaves it’s ritualistic tribal majesty. It’s whimsical essence folding space and time, offering fleeting glimpses of those halcyon 60’s underpinnings. This has been a stellar performance, that new album will be one to watch out for.

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photo by Ian Robertson – see gallery here

Tonight has been the stuff of dreams. Not only have The Janitors, who kick-started this blog already played, but next up are The Myrrors. THE band, singlehandedly responsible, for reawakening my aural muse in 2013. Witnessing this performance closes the, ‘Burning Circles In The Sky’. I am immensely proud to own #2 of, “The Fuzz Club Edition limited to only 100 numbered copies with hand pulled silk screened gatefold cover, silkscreened double inlay and white 180g vinyl”. The cosmic ripples of that investment, lapping at my grinning psyche. The fuzzed out, “Psychedelic streams straight out of Aztlán” soothe and wash over the hushed reverential crowd. Those Aztec ancestral voices, resonate with my chosen, adopted Toltec glyph. My centuries old umbilical cord, plugged straight into that notional epitome of civilisation, the germinating seed, that found representation in the word artisan. Ethereal, and just about every other praiseworthy superlative, are applicable to this transcendent performance. If I died happy at the end of Lola Colt, here I am resurrected, floating high above the genesis at Cicomoztoc…

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photo by Ian Robertson – see gallery here

Radar Men From The Moon have become something of an institution. Synonymous with extended forays into the, “interstellar exploration of new sounds”. RMFTM have redefined the void and resculpted the envelope. Their expressive and expansive, experimental imagineering, is matched only in it’s ability to unlock the trance state within. The inner primordial being, compelled to rhythmic celebration. Fittingly the bulk of tonight’s set is comprised from the recent, critically acclaimed and sold out ‘Subversive I‘ release. The Light Arch thrums with abandoned unison. Space and time are suspended, animated adoration between band and crowd, expires in glorious, reciprocal climax.

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photo by Ian Robertson – see gallery here

Casper Dee has again proven his rare visionary gift. To have founded the Fuzz Club Label in March 2012, then host it’s own event, barely 3 years later is phenomenal. It is a feat he has achieved with a genuine warmth, and heartfelt modesty. Something to be applauded on every level.

The crowd are buzzing, senses in a heightened state of synaptic shock. Communal critical mass has been achieved. The slow, unwilling dissipation into the London night air is resisted. Coursing energy currents, imprint their essence. The genius loci transmutes our offerings, rewarding all with memory defining, beatific, iridescent echoes…

 

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