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Big Elf (Live)

October 17, 2009


Pt.1 – The Rescue Rooms, Nottingham, 15/10/09

Unfortunately, I thought the show started at 9pm, I was wrong! So I missed the support band, which turned out to be a band I have been supporting for over a year now, Haken, gutted! The room was a far cry from two weeks ago when i saw Skindred, I felt embarrassed for the band, thankfully though, a crowd of middle aged men gradually filtered in.
Although the band are no stranger to touring Europe, this is actually their first tour in the UK, though lack of advertising at the venue, in fact of any band, doesn’t exactly help.

So, Bigelf, for those who don’t know, are a progressive band. But not your typical progressive rock or metal band. The instant the band strike their first chord, a wall of sound hits you, a demonic chord, haunting and thrilling, sure makes you pay attention and this is the case for many of their tracks on the set tonight. I think I can sum them up well by saying ‘a demonic circus of psychedelic progressive rock’. Hints of Pink Floyd, The Beatles and Black Sabbath can be heard throughout the set showing the bands roots lay in Britain in terms of musical inspiration.

The show tonight was full of plenty of sound problems, typical for the venue, but all brushed off and joked about with this intimate crowd. This audience may have been small, but that didn’t keep them from making noise, even the old couple were having a dance! Bigelf’s performance was something magical and captivating, give them the chance and they will perform The Greatest Show On Earth.

Pt.II – Camden Barfly, London, 16/10/09

So my journey down didn’t start so well, I accidentally topped up with £20 of petrol instead of diesel, so the next 3 hours were spent finding someone to help me, waiting for back up, pushing my car from the fuel station across the main road to the opposite pub car park, and draining the fuel tank and lines, which was down by squeezing it out. But this was a far better option than paying a cowboy £150 to do it!

But all was fixed and I got to London in plenty of time for the gig. Missed the name of the first act, but they reminded me of your typical gloomy stoner band. Musically very well written and performed but vocally quite poor. Finally I get to hear a band I have supported for a year now, Haken. Recently I’ve not listened to them so it was great to hear their sound again, and live, simply to be described as a metal Zapper, i.e, those great Zappa scales, played alongside some loud chuggy riffs. The sound wasn’t quite mixed right meaning I couldn’t hear one of the guitars and the vocals so well, however, the vocals were iffy with the higher notes and probably worked in Ross’ favour.

So, Bigelf, last night was great, tonight, even greater! A change in one of the organs and a change in audience, there was one! Full of cheers and sing alongs, and drummer Froth even got his own chant!

I’ve noticed that in both sets that they tend to start off lots of demonic cirque sounding songs, using the diminished 7th chord, and songs in the latter half of the set are more hard rock sounding, I’ve also noticed more influence from The Doors. There was less talking tonight, concentrating more on playing through the songs, and before we knew it, it was the end of the set. This, however, led to the greatest cover I’ve heard live, Pink Floyd’s Have A Cigar. Instantly they gave me goosebumps, I don’t think that’s ever happened to me in a live situation. If a band can give some one goosebumps – they must be worth checking out!


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