Huddled at the back of the tiny Parish venue in Huddersfield, the thirty or so people that dragged themselves out on a Monday night have no idea what carnage Leeds natives WEIRDS are about to unleash.
On paper, ‘psych-grunge’ doesn’t sound like the most interesting combination of genres. Add a vocalist who sounds uncannily like Tom from Kasabian, and a list of influences including ‘Nirvana’ and ‘Foals’, and it’s practically a recipe for mediocrity.
But to fall into that trap, you’d also have to ignore basically everything else about this band.
WEIRDS were spawned from a love of blending things that shouldn’t be blended. Their stage presence, specifically from frontman Aidan Razzall, is terrifying. The haunting way in which he circles those in the pit during their latest single ‘Old World Blues’ – sweat dripping from his beard – is reminiscent of the serpents that adorn the cover of their debut album Swarmculture. And yet, the cacophony of sound coming from the stage isn’t screeching and angry. It’s muffled, and blurry, and psychedelic. The crowd are completely hypnotised. This is how you capture an audience.
Where songs such as ‘Valley of Vision’ hit hard with one hand, their lighter material in ‘Black Desert’ gently caresses you with the other. It’s confusing, it’s interesting, and most importantly it’s brilliant.
After a thirty-minute set, it’s over, and the crowd are in a daze. It’s impossible to imagine what band could even dare to follow that.
But it isn’t long until we get to find out. A trip to the bar and half a drink later, TIGERCUB take the stage. Comprising of three interesting haircuts with instruments, it’s clear that this is a band with more mainstream dreams. And after a couple of songs, it wouldn’t surprise me if they were there within the next year.
While they don’t command the stage in the same way as their support band, their songs are more than enough to make up for it. This is who we’re here to see, and they’re more than aware.
‘We love you Huddersfield! Let’s dance!’ Vocalist Jamie Hall (who has the most bizarre haircut of the three) grins to a rapturous reception, before launching into their shiny new single ‘Into the Ashes’. The room buzzes as the bass oozes out of the speakers, and immediately it’s evident why Royal Blood had them on their tour.
While WEIRDS entranced their audience, TIGERCUB entertain them. By the end of their glittering set, everyone in the room is shouting along to everything they sing. ‘Divided States of Us’, a tongue-in-cheek dedication to Donald Trump, rolls into a couple of fan favourites, and by the end of their set everyone is sweaty.
As the night winds down, a line gathers at the merch stand at the back of the room. Still out of breath from dancing, a thin guy in a TIGERCUB shirt grins over at his friend. “Give it six months,” he says, “they’re going to be absolutely huge.”
Judging by tonight, it’d be stupid to disagree with him.
By Ellen Lovell.