Look, this review is biased, ok? I put the gig on, most of these bands’ members came to the afterparty, some of them stayed on my sofa and Hotel Lux vandalised my fridge. But hey, sometimes you’ve gotta look past these tiny factors and just trust the authorial voice of the person writing it. For a start, these bands wouldn’t have made their way onto my lineup without being bloody good, and, well, in short, I edit this blog as part of a uni degree and if I don’t post enough I’ll get a shitty mark.
So moving swiftly on, and when you’re at a gig with this amount of constant intensity it’s difficult to move in any way other than swiftly, 3 bands – all alike in depravity – brought their own blends of guitar music to the inner sanctums of our humble university. The ethereal shimmer of Twin Palace opened proceedings, casting a spell on the room as waves of pedal-heavy guitar flourishes wobbled around an aquamarine room. Capable of creating soundscapes that balanced a huge empowering feeling of bravado with shoegaze’s trademark insular uncertainty. Tracks like the all subsuming …I Am Dreaming and the dreamy cool of Standby made sure the room was left entranced, as Twin Palace provided an escape from the tacid grey of Greater London outside the door.
Whilst Twin Pal specialise in escapism, Hotel Lux do the opposite; like a sonic Ken Loach film, they force feed the grim reality of life itself to you with the same stomping intensity that The Monks and the Fat White Family pin down. Frontman Lewis Duffin marauded around, suited and booted barking austere lyrics which boasted a brutal realism only bested by their sheer catchiness. By the time they strutted through no-wave influenced closer The River, we were one mic stand down and there were more pints flung than at a Milburn reunion gig.
Hot off the release of their latest single Flesh, Southampton based psych overlords Melt Dunes brought some inconceivably dark shamanic noise along. Over the course of a half hour set of explosive, piercing psych-rock roarers, from the ominous organ-driven noise of their latest single to the hell-spawned sprawl of Epicaricacy, Melt Dunes made some of the most evil sounds Surrey has ever heard.
A night like no other, Epsom was offered an alternative to bland commuter life with this near-packed gig, as psychedelia, shoegaze, and garage rock dominated the sonic field.
(Written by Cal Cashin, photo cred to Ben McQuaide)