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The Wytches / February, March and April 2017 UK Tour

 
By on Monday, 6th February 2017 at 9:00 am
 

Brighton band The Wytches released their second album ‘All Your Happy Life’ last autumn on Heavenly Recordings. Want to read Steven’s review of the long player? Head this way. They’ve announced a long series of dates for the first half of this year, comprising both headline dates and spring music festival appearances from late February through to April. Tickets are on sale now to the following dates. You can watch their behind-the-scenes video for ‘Bone Weary’ just below the tour date listing. You can catch up on TGTF’s past coverage of the Watches through here.

Monday 27th February 2017 – Hull Polar Bear
Tuesday 28th February 2017 – York Crescent
Wednesday 1st March 2017 – Leicester Cookie
Friday 3rd March 2017 – Sheffield Outlines Festival
Saturday 4th March 2017 – Scunthorpe Café Independent,
Monday 3rd April 2017 – Guilford Boileroom
Tuesday 4th April 2017 – Norwich Waterfront Studio
Wednesday 5th April – St. Albans Horn
Thursday 6th April 2017 – Reading Face Bar
Friday 7th April 2017 – Manchester Sound Control
Saturday 8th April – London Flying Vinyl Festival
Sunday 9th April 2017 – Tunbridge Wells Forum
Wednesday 19th April 2017 – Cambridge Portland Arms
Thursday 20th April 2017 – Preston Ferret
Friday 21st April 2017 – Stockton on Tees Georgian Theatre
Saturday 22nd April 2017 – Liverpool Wrong Festival
Sunday 23rd April 2017 – Southampton Joiners
Monday 24th April 2017 – Cardiff Clwb Ifor Bach

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xH0Wic15J5M[/youtube]

 

Album Review: The Wytches – All Your Happy Life

 
By on Wednesday, 2nd November 2016 at 12:00 pm
 

The Wytches All Your Happy Life album coverFrom the ominous and foreboding first track ‘Intro’, you get the feeling the second round from Brighton-based group The Wytches is made to both please you and control you. ‘All Your Happy Life’ sees the band stepping forward slightly, away from the lo-fi and ravenous sound that pushed them this far. Instead, their approach has a fuller body that shows the now four-piece aren’t afraid of stepping out of their already laid footprints.

The second track and early single ‘C-Side’ instantly carries through on the haunting atmosphere created by its predecessor with an attacking instrumental opening, but it’s on the chorus where everything falls into place. With a riff that completely absorbs you, it shows The Wytches don’t only have a lo-fi gift but they can create a melody capable of stalking you.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_BixyTrY7o[/youtube]

Next up is ‘Can’t Face It’, which goes on the offence with absolute savage aggression. From the moment it strikes, it remains unrelenting. The vocals have a yearning howl that surrenders briefly during the chorus, only to come back in force. Changing up proceedings again, ‘A Feeling We Get’ is a wandering, slow track that relies upon the tender – by Wytches standards – instrumentation to give it an atmosphere. The guitars are delicate enough so you can hear the small intricacies, twinned with a slow run of notes to highlight them, is it builds creating an almost faded romantic style.

With the addition of Mark Breed on organ, their sound is fully crafted to fit The Wytches moniker. At times, they come across as haunting psychedelic, as if the instrumentation is being lost in itself, such as on consecutive tracks ‘Throned’ and ‘Ghost House’. The former is another wanderer that gradually builds into itself and gets lost in the crescendo led by a psychedelic guitar solo, whilst the latter goes into a cyclical pattern that over the course of its 5 and a half minute running time builds into an aggressor.

The momentum of the album doesn’t particularly change, nor does its direction. However, with pleasing melodies and a raw sound that mirrors early punk, it’s a winning combination that doesn’t get particularly tiresome. Full savagery is reached in ‘Crest of Death’, a stomping and screaming track with a rolling bass line thick enough to create a heavy undertone. The riffs are as thick and heavy as ever, particularly on ‘A Dead Night Again’, another solemn track with its heart lying in the melody, while the lyrics concern the rock ‘n’ roll standard of heartbreak but somehow, they manage to spin it with a haunting angle.

‘Dumb Fill’ features one of the more interesting moments in the final third of the album. The song builds to a repetitive state before falling away, leaving a screeching and searing guitar line holding your focus until the rest of the band gradually comes back in resuming normal service as nothing ever happened. The most evident aspect of this second record is how much The Wytches have grown and created a fuller sound. This is thanks to some help in the form of Jim Sclavunos, who you may know as the drummer for Nick Cave & The Bad Seeds on production duties.

Finale ‘Home’ favours more of the slow and casual sound than the aggression found in the earlier half of the album. It’s a pleasant enough way to see the album out, opting for a more relaxed and drawn out approach. Never really reaching a climax, it simply teeters along on its own, gathering no real pace or momentum, until it falls away and leaves the album completed.

There is definite strength to this second helping from the Brighton-based quartet, though it mainly comes in its savageness rather than the more reserved, slower moments. The Wytches have created a sound that not only thrives on the lo-fi, but manages to at times cross into gothic/haunting territory. Another win for the burgeoning UK DIY scene.

8/10

The sophomore album from Brighton band The Wytches, ‘All Your Happy Life’, is out now on Heavenly Recordings. They’re currently on tour in the UK; check out the list of tour dates here. For more on The Wytches on TGTF, follow this link.

 

Live Gig Video: The Wytches perform single ‘C-Side’ with an animatronic buddy

 
By on Friday, 23rd September 2016 at 4:00 pm
 

Brighton band The Wytches – now a four-piece, with Kristian Bell (vocals, guitar), Daniel Rumsey (bass), Gianni Honey (drums) and Mark Breed (guitar, organ) – are gearing up to release their sophomore album. ‘All Your Happy Life’ will drop next Friday. Previously announced single ‘C-Side’ proved the band were continuing on with their uncompromising lo-fi and punk swagger. Now the song has its own promo video, the band accompanied by a high-tech buddy.

Animatronic artist John Nolan, known for his work in such fanciful films as Harry Potter, Where the Wild Things Are and Warhorse, is a Wytches fan and was eager to work them after falling in love with the band’s 2014 debut ‘Annabel Dream Reader’.

“The Wytches are a top band and I wanted to work with them since hearing the first album. A lot of their previous films were shot low res and feature the band and their friends dressing up and messing about, I wanted to honourthis but introduce some sort of narrative and creature fx. I wanted to play around with the human form and create something that looked normal from one angle but growing into something completely freakish as the camera moves across it. Elongating the neck proved to do this brilliantly and it led me to research into Rokurokubi, a type of Japanese apparition where the human head leaves the body stretching out the neck. The act of the head separating from the body represents the spirit’s soul wandering.

The band we’re completely open minded and gave me their full blessing so we committed to the idea. I’d worked with Conor Craig-Stephens before as he was the lead creature in The Hallow, I knew he would be perfect as our guy. We spent 5 weeks at the studio building a full mechanical animatronic human head with the long neck blending into something that Conor could wear. The face was controlled by two puppeteers using radio control transmitters and the head and neck movements performed by either by Conor or lead puppeteer Rob Tygner. The film uses a number of effects disciplines including animatronics, puppetry, motion control camera work, rod removal and a full cgi neck animation in the final outro, so with a very low budget it was ambitious to say the least.”

You’ll be amazed by the results. Watch the video for ‘C-Side’ below. ‘All Your Happy Life’ will drop on the 30th of September on Heavenly Recordings. For past coverage on the Wytches on TGTF, head here.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I_BixyTrY7o[/youtube]

 

The Wytches / November 2016 UK Tour

 
By on Wednesday, 10th August 2016 at 9:00 am
 

Brighton trio The Wytches have announced a new album and a coordinating set of November tour dates to go along with it. The LP, titled ‘All Your Happy Life’, is due out on the 30th of September via Heavenly Recordings. Below the tour date listing, you can listen to their brand new single ‘C-Side’, having premiered on radio earlier this week, out now.

Tickets for the following shows go on sale Thursday the 11th of August at 10 AM. In the meantime, you can check out TGTF’s previous coverage of The Wytches right back this way.

Wednesday 2nd November 2016 – Oxford Academy
Thursday 3rd November 2016 – Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms
Friday 4th November 2016 – Brighton Concorde 2
Saturday 5th November 2016 – Bristol Thekla
Monday 7th November 2016 – Leeds Brudenell Social Club
Tuesday 8th November 2016 – Glasgow Oran Mor
Wednesday 9th November 2016 – Nottingham Rescue Rooms
Thursday 10th November 2016 – Birmingham Institute
Friday 11th November 2016 – London Electric Ballroom

 

Video of the Moment #2125: The Wytches

 
By on Tuesday, 28th June 2016 at 6:00 pm
 

Brighton psych rock trio The Wytches came out strong out of the blocks in 2014 with debut album ‘Annabel Dream Reader’. (You can read John’s review of the long player here.) We’re now in 2016, and the band have unveiled this month a new EP, ‘Home Recordings’, purchasable in digital format in a very post-Brexit-friendly, pay-what-you-want price structure.

The video for ‘Who Rides?’, one of the ‘Home Recordings’ standout moments, continues the Wytches’ fascination for the dark and weird. More suitable for Halloween than any other time of the year – you’ll see – there’s a lot of bones a-rattlin’ in this promo, which you can watch below. For more on The Wytches, including their appearance at the inaugural This Must Be the Place 2016 festival in Leeds in May, use this link.

[youtube]https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=9rLtmXkYneA[/youtube]

 

This Must Be the Place 2016 Roundup (Part 3)

 
By on Wednesday, 8th June 2016 at 2:00 pm
 

Words by Adam McCourt

Following the overcapacity fiasco at Headrow House earlier in the evening, I decided to stay put and fight the grain of the exiting crowd to make sure I didn’t miss any of the next act, 20-year old singer/songwriter Julien Baker. I joined a handful of punters at the front of the room who were all facing the stage despite the clear lack of commotion. Ms. Baker soon appeared onstage to unpack her pedal board and work out how to connect her American plugs into UK converters.

We didn’t have to wait long before the 5-foot-nothing Tennessee native struck the first notes of the title track of her debut album ‘Sprained Ankle’. Anyone unfamiliar with Baker’s music was in for a very emotional treat, as Baker rambled through seven depressingly honest songs that touched on subjects such as rejection, forgiveness and alcohol abuse, all with undertones of love and heartache.

[youtube]https://youtu.be/wmGVIvf8Q6s[/youtube]

From the first collection of harmonics until the last click of her pedals in the final song, Baker’s audience were totally transfixed. After her first two songs, she took a moment to address us with a light-hearted story about being trapped in the venue’s elevator, which translated as her way of saying ‘it’s okay to smile’ whilst subtracting some attention from her openly revealing songs. I think at this point, people were laughing to hold back any other emotions that had culminated upon watching. The highlight of the set was Baker’s third song, ‘Vessels’. The incredible vocal projection from someone so small in stature and fragile in nature left a few audience members in tears, and her slight but effective melodic variations were happily accepted. Baker finished off her set with a major crowd pleaser from the aforementioned album, a track titled ‘Something’. The intensity of the song grew with each added layer of looped guitar, and its final lyric ‘I won’t think of anyone else’ left us with a spine-tingling feeling of fulfillment.

I took the time at this point to recuperate with a coffee before final act The Wytches took the stage to finish the day off. As I peacefully observed the bar, it was as evident as ever that This Must Be The Place exists for its love of the unusual, and the growing scene that is of quirky, neo-hipsters and surf-psych garage music. As the crowds went either to get a good spot at The Wytches upstairs, or to Headrow House to catch Tom Vek, I noticed flannel shirts, Doc Martens, skinny jeans and tote bags were the trends that carried through to the décor of the Belgrave, with its neon signs and long shared tables. It was a community more than anything, and with a community showcasing so many esoteric acts of music, who wouldn’t want to be a part of it?

I finished my coffee and made my way upstairs to the back of the hall so not to disturb the diehards at the front. The Wytches plodded on stage 15 minutes after their start time and instantly began terrorising the audience with sinister, shoegazey guitar melodies on top of equally sludgy grooves. The atmosphere in the venue was incredible. As you looked across the crowd you could see a clear circle set out as a mosh pit, filled with heads that continued to bounce up and down for the next 45 minutes.

The Wytches’ second song ‘Robe For Juda’ was the welcomed with open arms. As soon as the drop tempo of the chorus burst our ears, the crowd let out their anticipation in an eruption of moshing. Despite the furore of the audience, The Wytches kept calm and collected as they powered through their list of chaotic, feedback ridden songs, overloaded with screechy high gain vocals that to a certain degree sounded like Kurt Cobain if he were in more pain…if that’s even possible. There were other close connections to Nirvana within the trio, mainly in their stage presence. Singer and guitarist Kristian Bell stood idly hunched over as he wept into the mic, as if possessed. Bassist Daniel Rumsey had a floating, hoppy thing going on similar to Krist Novoselic, and drummer Gianni Honey smashed away at the kit in typical Dave Grohl fashion.

The crowd began to die down towards the end of The Wytches’ set, and in the back of the hall in what is more of a lounge area, some festivalgoers had given up and found seats. The fall in numbers had no effect on the three dark figures on stage. Finally ending in typical fashion, they set the feedback to full on their pedals as they struck the last chord and walked off, leaving the room filled with cheers and noise.

As we filed out of the venue and I made my way home, I thought to myself how friendly and undisturbed the festival was. It is inevitable that at festivals there are always groups who cause havoc, usually in the form of fighting, indulging in drugs, or doing something as stupid as walking between sites, shouting, “lads, lads, lads!”. But there was none of that here. This Must Be The Place attracted very like-minded people to a day where they could sit on old sofas in cool bars and sip craft beer in peace, whilst simultaneously taking in some of the country’s or even the world’s best up-and-coming talent in a subculture with an ever-growing market.

 
 
 

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There Goes The Fear is where we tell you about the latest music, gigs, and tours we love and think you should too.

We love music that has its heart on its sleeve, tells a story, swims around our head all day or makes us dance like no-one's watching.

TGTF was edited by Mary Chang, based in Washington, DC.

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