The Wytches // Joiners Live Review (+The Gillies & Violet Mud)

The Wytches // Joiners Arms 10/09/16
+ The Gillies and Violet Mud

            The Joiners was filled with wide-eyed teenagers in head to toe leather, all overly keen to get to the front to catch the band of the night, The Wytches. But before any Wytches madness could erupt, the excitement for the support bands lingered in the air. As I sat backstage with The Wytches eating their vegan cheese (rock ‘n’ roll!), we heard a loud cheer erupt and the shrieking of a guitar echo through the floor- the first support band were ready to play.
             The Gillies are a 4 piece self-proclaimed “skater grunge” band “straight outta Fareham”. As they came on stage it became instantly apparent they were the right band to be supporting The Wytches. They kicked off their set with Bleed Through The Smile which had every head in the room bobbing. As they slid in to their second song Serenade, a chaotic mosh erupted. As they continued their set, the song that really stuck out as a crowd favourite was their new single, Tastes Like Honey. The filthy guitar opening had the crowd pushing each other violently and even had those stood at the back moving as well. Lucas Edwards (guitarist and vocalist) without hesitation, interrupted the disturbing yet settling guitar and screamed the ghostly vocals over the top before being over-thrown by a heavy guitar from Ben Thomson, who completely stole the show. The energy that was emitted by this band was phenomenal, however Thomson had the attitude that got the crowd excited. He leapt into the mosh pit and still managed to nail his guitar solo whilst the crowd pushed him round like a battered rag-doll. The Gillies smashed it tonight and sound like Nirvana and Weezer’s badly behaved, love child. With broken drum sticks, snapped guitar strings and bass being played on the floor as a result of a broken strap, it’s clear this band have the talent and punk attitude to make a large, converse shaped footprint in the music industry.
            Violet Mud took to the stage shortly after and early Kings of Leon sprung to mind when I saw how much hair this band had in total. With every head bang their locks were enchanting the crowd and soon into their first song, Drone, the whole place was copying their contagious head-banging. Their drummer, Chloe Bidwell, lead the band through their Wytches-esque sounding songs with her poised yet mental drumming skills that showed a resemblance to Julie Edwards’ from Deap Vally. Their track, Black Leaf, had the crowd going mental and even an early attempt at crowd surfing from one keen fan was a result of the noise Violet Mud were preaching. By this point, Bidwell’s hair piece had fallen to the floor and the band carried the crowd through the rest of their best track as they slid into the captivating guitar solo that managed to sound incredibly groovy despite their punk, spaced-out attitude. Violet Mud were adored by every person in the room and their frightening guitar riffs and psychedelic rhythm got nothing but good reviews from gig go-ers and The Wytches.
            After Violet Mud, the room suddenly became a lot busier and the crowd packed out.

The Wytches were next.

Their set list was a good mix of old songs from 2014 debut “Annabel Dream Reader”, a few tracks from their early EP and a couple of new tracks from their highly anticipated album “All Your Happy Life” that is due to be released Sept. 30th.
        They kicked off their set with She’s So Far Out, which had the crowd swaying endlessly as they gently built the suspense for when they were really going to kick things off. The gut-wrenching guitar guided the crowd through the first 4 minutes of their set before they suddenly smashed into the track that kicks off their new album, C-Side. The crowd went mental for this newly, previewed track and had dedicated fans singing along as bodies were thrown around the room. One gum-chewing fan confidently commands the band to “fucking come on!” in his excitement. The aggressive mosh continues throughout their set list as they play favourites, Who Rides and Robe For Juda, but the real madness explodes when the opening bar of Gravedweller reaches the ears of the fans.
            The best preview we had of album 2 though was definitely Ghost House. It appears The Wytches have taken a more mature approach to their­ sound on “All Your Happy Life” yet have still managed to maintain that original, raw sound they nailed on their debut. Ghost House captivated the audience and Kristian’s shrieking vocals floated through the crowd. The response to this new track was everything The Wytches could have ever hoped for.
            After playing old favourites, Wide at Midnight and Summer Again that (obviously) sent the crowd into a hungry frenzy, the band finished their set- or so they thought. The crowd demanded them back on and they eventually re-joined and played the less well-known track Riding on Horseback in the Desert. However, devoted fans were shouting every word back at the band and were clambering up on stage throughout the dirty guitar riffs, that were the reason we all fell in love with The Wytches in the first place. The sleazy end to this song had the audience go through their wildest stage yet with bodies, surprisingly, not touching the ceiling due to their violent jumping and dis-regard for personal safety. Gianni (drummer) soon joined the crowd in their madness by crowd surfing his way over their sweaty bodies much to their excitement.
            Overall, the night was a grunge-fuelled, frenzy from start to end. It’s clear that The Wytches’ new member, Mark, has been a brilliant attribute to the band meaning they can venture deeper into their new perfected sound.
            The few previews we had of “All Your Happy Life” were brilliant and hold a much more sophisticated sound yet, still contain the raw Wytches vibe that we all love. If possible, I think fans are even more excited for the new album.  
After seeing The Wytches multiple times in different venues, I did have extremely high expectations for them.

They never disappoint.


Photos: Marc Lewis (Joiners)


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