By: Sander van den Driesche

White Hills | website | facebook | twitter |  

Support: The Cosmic Dead | website and Girl Sweat | website

Nice n Sleazy, Glasgow | March 11, 2016

There are nights when nothing ever happens and then there are nights where everything seems to happen all at once. Last Friday night was one such night. Edinburgh’s noise rock trio BRITNEY had their album lunch for Britn3y, and along the road at Bannerman’s was the first of two nights as part of Doom Over Edinburgh. But I decided to take the train down the road to see White Hills, with The Cosmic Dead and Girl Sweat supporting, a line-up you just can’t miss. At least, that’s what my brain cells decided upon.

As I caught the first train after the peak hour to Glasgow, which arrives just after 7:20pm, I was worried to miss Girl Sweat. The only thing I knew about Girl Sweat is the amazing track on the split cassette release with The Cosmic Dead, but I was always under the impression Girl Sweat was a full band. What I didn’t expect to witness when I finally got to Nice n Sleazy, was a barefooted, wild animal looking man, dressed in a flamboyant shirt, producing the most awesome wall of noise using effect pedals, tape loops, and an electronic steel guitar, all accompanied with some echoey wailing vocals. The set ended quite abruptly, or so it seems, when Mr Sweat was playing the synths and steel guitar a bit too enthusiastically making the pop up stage fall apart, which did add to the awesomeness of the performance. Check out the one-man project that is Girl Sweat if you get a chance.

Next up local Glasgow psychedelic legends The Cosmic Dead. Seriously, these guys play huge shows allover Europe and the UK and to be able to see them at Nice n Sleazy, supporting White Hills, in front of their home crowd was only going to be very memorable. I’ve only seen The Cosmic Dead three times before and I have a bunch of their releases, but I somehow never seem to know what songs they’re actually playing when I see them live. The band and the audience just get completely lost in the zone, and tonight was no difference. You could tell how happy they were to play in front of a Glasgow crowd, they were really going for it. In fact, I think I have only seen The Cosmic Dead grow in strength with each time I’ve seen them live. They just get the best out of each other every single time. They ended their set on a 15 minutes or so long psychedelic jam, which just got more bonkers and bonkers with each minute passing. At some point James was playing his guitar with a nearly emptied bottle of Buckfast, swinging his hair ferociously, while Omar was playing his characteristic, throbbing bass lines, Julian tried to hide behind the drum kit with a towel wrapped over his head and Lewis was creating all the synth noise whilst shouting in a mic into the crowd. Absolutely amazing. The Cosmic Dead are probably one of the best live bands on the scene right now.

How were White Hills even going to top this? If I was in White Hills I would’ve been slightly worried at this point. But White Hills are huge and very experienced and not faced out by the prospect of headlining tonight’s show. The sound wasn’t as intense as The Cosmic Dead’s sound, at least not during the first two songs. Ego Sensation’s bass wasn’t loud enough, but this luckily gradually got better during the third song. Again, I have no clue as to what songs they played, I was just in the zone where I could only stare and intensely nod my head on the repetitive beats and tunes, but they definitely played ‘No Will’, the opening track of their latest full-length Walks For Motorists. This was the first time I saw White Hills, which was one of the reasons to skip all those Edinburgh shows as mentioned above, and I’m glad I finally got to see them. They got better and better as their set continued, like a diesel of psychedelic, post-punk krautrock, gradually warming up to leave the audience in awe. Unfortunately the clock hit 11pm, which sadly meant I had to leave White Hills for what they were to catch my last train back to Edinburgh.

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