“It’s slippery, heated and rife with anger.”
It can often be liberating to explore an underused space. Eagulls are a band who are playing to this sentiment on their latest run of shows, breaking into territory on the outskirts of towns and cities across the country.
Fiddlers Club feels like a place we shouldn’t be in. The surrounds of stained pub chairs create the feel of an ominous British legion compared to venues in the city centre. This is fantastic though; it feels real and, most importantly, it feels right for a band who sing about despair, our generation and the thalidomide drug.
Support act, Bristol’s Spectres, are quite clearly the reason for many familiar faces amongst the crowd. They’ve build up a certain gravity-like pull with their darkened, pulsating noise in recent years. Onstage, the four appear withdrawn from the dirge they’re creating. There’s nothing at all happy about the show tonight, but it can’t help but bring a wry smile to those gathered. ‘Where Flies Sleep’ is a true squall of perfection as Joe Hatt’s vocal looms over the room. Forget all other adjectives: this band are a very important entity right now.
With much to follow, Eagulls initially take the hall by the throat. The hollow guitar rattle of tracks like ‘Tough Luck’ and ‘Nerve Endings’ act as a call to arms for the room. It’s slippery, heated and rife with anger. These tracks have had time to ring through the ears of those here tonight and it shows. They play against backdrop of black and white films, somewhat matching the whole dynamic of things.
What follow are back-to-back numbers from the new album, which expectedly settle things down a bit, especially among the more agitated. It’s somewhat a gutsy move to take on a run of shows before the release of their follow up record, although the wait for an Eagulls live return has already felt long enough. Tonight they offer something with weight, relevance and meaning. The forward-thinking minds amongst the Bristol music scene lap this up.
Check out ‘Tough Luck’ right here: