The Golden Lion, Todmorden has garnered a reputation as of late for hosting some of the best live experiences in England as well as a whole other feast for the senses. Promoter White Rabbit create a slice of psychedelic heaven with stunning visuals, great in-between music selections and stunning live bills. Tonight’s juxtaposed bill is set to be no exception.
Blondi’s Salvation from Nantes, France have been a band on my radar for some time following the release of Wisdom Whisper in November 2015 on Howlin Banana Records. The four piece made up of multi-instrumentalists take to the stage and begin with a vibrant sound that has become synonymous with the best emerging from France. There is an array of instruments included in their set; cowbells, organ, violin, guitars, lute, oud and one beautiful sounding stringed instrument that, ashamedly, I cannot even identify – clearly this is not just your average band.
The set provides some treasures from their album including ‘Ventoline’ and ‘Human Hymn’, which features a beautiful violin accompaniment, an eerily haunting melody and thought evoking vocals. They conclude with a jazz style, mostly instrumental piece which could easily have been improvised, but probably wasn’t. They go out to rapturous applause and have clearly gained themselves a new fan set this evening.
Gnod are a punk infused, drone heavy collective hailing from Manchester. They formed in 2006 and have become an institution in their own right. With an impressive back catalogue under their belt they have garnered an increasing amount of attention to their cause. Their latest album Just Say No to the Psycho Right-Wing Capitalist Fascist Industrial Death Machine was released 31st March on Rocket Recordings and is a direct kick against the doom and disquiet of the current socio-political landscape. Tonight is the opening night of their colossal 40 date album tour.
Known for their electrifying live performances, with a dimly lit, densely packed room they blast out a wall of noise which wastes no time in hitting the mark. ‘Visions of Load’ and ‘The Mirror’ blend heavy drone, psychedelic riffs and empowered drumming seamlessly, add some synth noise, ballsy vocals and a repetitive bass line and you have Gnod. ‘Bodies for Money’ and ‘Paper Error’ form a heady double hitter from the latest album, and the room hums with energy as the crowd move along.
It is difficult to put into words the energy that goes with a Gnod performance, they put everything into it and it’s a wonder they can move off stage after such an intense enslaught of sound. Their recorded music is fantastic, but in no way does them justice and it is only live that one can really get the full Gnod experience. My recommendation – go and see them for yourself and experience it for yourself.