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LIVE REPORT: Fluffer Records Pit Party All-Dayer
Patrick Clarke , August 14th, 2017 16:04

PINS lead the way at a stellar Summer showcase for Fluffer Records' notorious Pit Parties

Phobophobes (all photos courtesy of Rowan Allen at Fluffer Records)

Just how well an artist can adapt to the unique stage set-up of a Fluffer Records Pit Party, an island at the centre of a secret warehouse space, bands flanked on all sides by eager punters clutching their cans of craft ale, determines a lot. An all-dayer hosted by joint-headliners PINS and JAWS, with an extra seven names underneath them, though some fare better than others all the sets are at the very least enjoyable. There’s one or two that border on the utterly superb.

Bristolian noise peddlers Spectres, for instance, are a blast of unadulterated chaos, the sound of blissful, bracing mayhem. Their new LP, Condition is a burst of mad catharsis on record, and when unleashed live, the band huddled as a singular unit of bristling 360 degree energy, hits a new peak of twisted bliss. Harnessing the sound of chaos with the volume lurched upwards to ear-splitting levels, they seize the sounds of carnage and bring them to the very edge of collapse, riding a gleeful line between madness and brilliance, embracing the knife-edge thrill of potential annihilation.

Hey Colossus

Hey Colossus take things more traditionally, playing to one side of the room and backed by a wall of speakers. Theirs is not a circular, all encompassing approach to their projection, but a concentrated, specific blast on one section of the room, noticeably the side of stage with the least space for the crowd to escape. Frontman Paul Sykes makes full use of his close proximity, one foot placed with purpose atop the small metal barriers between him and us, which rattles in time to the pummelling, shuddering lurches of the band, firing through the rushing brilliance of their last tritpych of terrific albums, In Black & Gold, Radio Static High and The Guillotine, theirs is a set to savour.

Phobophobes

Phobophobes, meanwhile, prove that it’s not just fire and brimstone that garners a reaction from a pit party crowd. The six-piece have the luxury of enough numbers to service every nook and cranny of the room, and are treated to probably the most eager reaction from the crowd of all in the wake of a gleefully melodic set, smatterings of psychedelic organ punching through a garage rock fug for a show that though joyously twisted and unhinged in its route, still fires well towards the accessible.

PINS, the co-headliners, feel dab hands on stage, the foursome occupying every corner of the central stage, drummer Sophie Galpin controlling an entire side of the audience single-handedly as she opens the set with the puposeful thuds of Aggrophobe’s opening bars, which sees Anna Donigan take over the snarling spoken word provided by Iggy Pop on the recorded release. The following set lacks the sense of unhinged mania of their predecessors, but makes up for it in solid showmanship – theirs is a set that’s tight and polished to perfection, with singer Faith Holgate’s dark control at the helm lending more than enough edge to keep it engaging.

PINS

It’s a shame that JAWS don’t quite follow at the same high standard. It’s notable that they’re playing to a far smaller crowd than PINS for a start, while their slicker, more spaced-out aesthetics seem ill-suited to a gloomy warehouse that’s been battered for hours by bands much darker and more direct. That said, as a standalone show their set would be a worthy one, and as a concept the Pit Party lends itself admirably to the stretch of an all-dayer. Whether all out concentrated assaults on one corner of the room, or a swarming, all-encompassing fog of growing mania, just how a band can weild the centre-stage is open to countless interpretations. More should have a go.

Fluffer Records will be hosting four more pit parties over the coming months, they are:

Deap Vally – August 23rd
Japandroids – August 30th
Spring King – September 15th
Black Lips – November 24th

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