Live Review: Fuzz Club Festival – Day 1

By my reckoning, this is something like my 23rd post in connection with Fuzz Club Records. For those of you familiar with this blog, this will come as no surprise. To those fledgling acolytes, I would urge you to seek out that which will make you whole again – just as Fuzz Club did for me, back in 2013. Fuzz Club Records have become synonymous with what it means to be a champion of, “independent, experimental rock n roll, influenced by psychedelia, shoegaze, noise, garage, blues, folk and experimentation”. That this, “record label, record store and production company”, can muster 14 prime movers within the current “scene”, over two magickal nights in London tells you all you need to know about their pedigree. The international scope of this event, is matched only by the fellow revellers who have travelled from far and wide to witness this esoteric happening. The London Fields Brewhouse, hosted by Bad Vibrations, with inspirational psychedelic projections from Innerstrings, proves an ideal venue. The twin “Dark” and “Light” railway arches, with small exhibition space and private street party, delivers everything a boutique gathering of sophisticates could wish for.


photo by Ian Robertson – see gallery here

Ahead of proceedings, there had been the news that Sonic Jesus had been forced to cancel. Our thoughts are with powerhouse drummer Simone, who had suffered a series of hernias, now thankfully well on the road to recovery. Eleventh hour stand-in’s Wall of Death, had given a virtuoso live performance at Eindhoven Psych Lab in 2014, so the fates had augured well – but more of that later… Throw Down Bones are an Italian phoenix – risen from the ashes of cult scene-setters Piatcions. Frankie Frankie has jetted in from the Scandinavian leg of The Underground Youth‘s European Tour, (sadly absent from this line-up). To join partner in crime, Dave Cocks for this mesmerising sonic blast. A taster of the delights waiting to be unleashed on their dynamic forthcoming, debut album. Incendiary tracks, ‘Saturator’ and the set closing ‘It’s All Around Us’, attest to why they are currently Fuzz Club’s most played album on iTunes. It is going to be EPIC…


photo by Ian Robertson – see gallery here

Venezia natives, New Candys literally light up the “Dark Arch”. Since I’d first heard and reviewed their contribution to ‘The Reverb Conspiracy Vol.3‘, followed by LP, ‘New Candy’s As Medicine’ earlier this year, I had been longing to add the live dimension to my experience. The guys deliver in spades. Their trademark, “33,3% Rock + 33,3% Roll + 33,4% Psychedelia”, wows the assembled. ‘Song For The Mutant’ feels like an anthem, personally written for and delivered in full appreciation for, those lost souls gathered to their cause. The accompanying Innersprings projections, showcase this quartet’s mind expanding consciousness.


photo by Ian Robertson – see gallery here

The Telescopes, with their reputation forged “beyond the realm of natural vision”, are next up and around the stage. Their mantra that, “the telescopes house has many rooms” can now add the “Light Arch” to their spatial repertoire. The promise of 7 guitars, has Fuzz Club kingpin Casper Dee suggesting that ear-plugs, may prove a necessary precaution! Tonight’s set ritualistically evolves, slowly unwinding like a coiled spring. The protagonists assemble, instruments are coaxed from their slumber, tuning gives way to freeform primordial dredging, suddenly you are in the eye of the experimental storm – as Stephen Lawrie would put it, “We stopped looking for monsters, when we realised they live inside us”.


photo by Ian Robertson – see gallery here

The KVB are a band I have long admired from afar. Nicholas Wood & Kat Day’s sparse trip-notic arrangements, usher a pristine, glacial deliverance. The duo’s entwining guitar / synth and keys, holds the faithful close with their cosseting embrace. An unexpected and idiosyncratically reverb soaked, cover of The Rolling Stones’ ‘Sympathy For The Devil’ is warmly received. The imminent release of The KVB’s latest album is eagerly anticipated – that they appear to have found their spiritual home on Invada Records, can only bode well for all involved.


photo by Ian Robertson – see gallery here

Only now does the combined overruns of the evening become apparent. It looks like Camera and 10 000 Russos will be taking to their respective stages, pretty much simultaneously – BUGGER! I had really been looking forward to catching Camera’s motorik mayhem first hand. I am reduced to catching a few snatched glimpses, as my spiritual blood brothers, 10 000 Russos mount their assault on the senses next door. Camera for now, remain on the unrequited love list…


photo by Ian Robertson

10 000 Russos‘ eponymous debut earlier this year, had proved a staggering revelation. Their intricately textured combinations, seemed an impossible mix of genre defying influences. Here was a band with presence, a band with intelligence and integrity, a band with vision, coupled with that all too elusive indeterminate factor. There was also the no small matter, of a highly contagious and infectious groove. When these guys get going, you go with them, your body aligned to their communal, shamanic-channelling purpose. I had been fortunate to see 10 000 Russos earlier this year, on home soil and on the big stage at Reverence Valada. Tonight’s set shares the mystical, more intimate vibe, enjoyed during the Valada closing, “sunrise session” druidic seance. On that night, forever etched on to my cerebral cortex, 10 000 Russos had been conjoined with the twin Jason’s of Mugstar and Magic Castles. Tonight they acquit themselves to rapturous abandon. As with their recent stone circle encounter, this evening’s ley lines carry them on a surging terrestrial current, plugged straight into each and every one of us…


photo by Ian Robertson – see gallery here

The only way to round off an evening like tonight is with a fittingly jovial after party – courtesy of The Shacklewell Arms. As the wide-eyed begin to reassemble, sporadic reports begin surfacing on the tragedy unfolding in Paris. Innocent concert goers, music fans like ourselves, mown down by all too eager puppets, fronting faceless corporate greed. The air becomes jaundiced, taking on a sombre tone. The mood though is one of unity and defiance. An embryo, long since sown within this fraternal brother and sisterhood, will prevail. The kinship inspired through music and the arts, will triumph. We will continue shining light, until the darkness recedes. You will find us where transparency, and moral accountability to each other, remains the untainted watchword…

Day 2 to follow…

See more from Chromaticism here

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