Say Psych: Live Review: SLIFT, DENSE & Farfisa @ Big Hands, Manchester 02.02.2019

Sour Grapes Records, a DIY Manchester label, have put together a stellar little line up in the infamous Big Hands bar tonight with a cocktail of bands that are certain to entertain.

Opening proceedings from the heart of Manchester comes electric psychedelic four-piece Farfisa who blend wavy, heavy and fuzzed out riffs with hazy Eastern influences when they add a sitar into the works. Their set ranges from chilled, laid back jams to mind numbing stoner rock operas that take hold. They play an extended set and are well received throughout, with those who weren’t sure at the beginning, being sure by the end.

They are followed by Leeds trio DENSE who add a whole new meaning to the term garage rock band. They take volume and fuzz levels to new heights as their set progresses yet somehow remain tuneful despite the heavy volumes involved. They wear their influences on their sleeve, with bits of King Gizzard and Thee Oh Sees shining through at times yet overall produce a sound wholly their own. With some post punk woven in, they captivate from beginning to end and have certainly gathered a few more fans here tonight.

Following on from where DENSE left off come headliners SLIFT, a French three-piece hailing from Toulouse who haven’t been around long but sure know how to make an impression. Their debut LP Space Is The Key shot them to prominence within the psychedelic scene and they have gone from strength to strength since, this tour being hotly anticipated. Second LP La Planète Inexplorée continued almost exactly where its predecessor carried on, but with added finesse instead of overwhelming noise. Live they are an entirely different element, and it is only through watching them live that you get a sense of who they really are. They emit a deafening wall of sound from the stage where both guitar and drums meet in perfect unison to carve out motorik beats over repetitive riffs. The frenetic hips and the constant yelp are resolutely garage but like others who have trod the path before them, the core of their music is space rock. Stand out track of the set is without doubt the veritable anthem that is ‘Dominator’. The track perfectly summarises exactly what this band are all about and is the perfect track for a live set with insatiable energy and a relentless riff that just doesn’t let up. Fans and non-fans alike are left drained after this set, we can only imagine what the band feel like.

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