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Desertfest London 2014

The Black Heart, The Underworld, The Electric Ballroom London 26-27 April 2014

Desertfest is an event that takes place over three venues in three days. It is a sprawling monster that is there to bludgeon the ears of its attendees as much as possible with every conceivable manner of riff to be explored. This was my first experience of the festival, and I have to say it was a wonderfully well-organised event. The strangest thing about it is because it happens over a weekend the festival goers have to compete with the tourists and casual shoppers of Camden Town which adds to an odd combination. But once the stalls have closed down for the day the points between the venues become the tribal ground of desertfesters.

Desertfest 1Desertfest London 2014 […]

Weedeater (live at The Underworld)

The Underworld, London 18 April 2011

From the very first beer-waving introduction to the crowd eagerly awaiting the return to what would seem to be their favourite London home from home, Weedeater arrive in cheery mood, lapping up the adulation and ripping straight into a fearsome “God Luck and Good Speed,” as powerful a statement of intent as any sludge-doom-stoner-rock band is ever likely to open a show with. Bassist Dixie hams up the eye-rolling, Jack-swilling and head-slapping goofiness, but as ever, his presence onstage is a combination of the leeringly weird and the snarling hardcore punk attitude squeezed through a mincer of Southern rock cavortings and high-kicking, four-stringed catharsis. The sound is suitably dense, and Shep keeps his guitar nonchalantly turned to 11 while shredding without seeming to move from the spot between saluting the audience with his beercan; and as ever,

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Weedeater – Jason …the Dragon

Southern Lord

It’s four years since God Luck and Good Speed came out and in those four years I have probably played it as much if not more than any other sludge album or any album for that matter with the possible exception of Harvey Milk.When I heard that Weedeater were releasing a new album I was excited, and unwisely and contrary to my usual cynical disposition believed the hyperbole put out by Southern Lord and others that this album would apparently “slay us all”. So when I first played Jason …the Dragon my first impression was underwhelming. Why? Firstly the first proper track “Hammerhandle” is so great the rest of the album is a bit of an anti-climax and secondly because it is not better than God Luck.

Repeated plays however show, that Jason, though it may not be any better

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Weedeater (live at The Underworld)

The Underworld, London 17 June 2010

With their tattooed limbs and trucker caps, their wall-eyed glares and N’Awlins shirts that might never actually have seen better days, Weedeater strike about as Southern image as can be imagined, straight out of Wilmington, North Carolina via the casting for a Rob Zombie slasher flick soundtracked by the leavings of the stoner blues. Set down like they were at home on the stage of Camden’s darkest haven of all things heavy and metal, the trio’s sprays of small blond dreads, forked-viper scraggly beard or the smeared pencil moustache of guitarist Shep‘s greasemonkey suavity are the hirsute equivalent of their gear from messers Marshall, Ampeg and Sunn making up the backline of battered cabs whose grilles are held together with gaffer tape as much as screws.

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