Live Reviews Music

Torche Live at XOYO

w/ Old Forest
XOYO, London
16th September 2012

An unfortunate injury to a band member sadly meant Hang The Bastard were unable to play XOYO this evening, leaving just two bands to share the stage. There has been more conjecture among underground pundits about the potential of Old Forest rather than their music: tonight’s performance did little to quell the excitement of the former, but raised some inevitable frustrations regarding the latter.

The south-west London three-piece grab strands from Seattle grunge and stoner rock with remarkable confidence, weaving them into a set of loud, down-tuned rock music, the proficiency of which belied the obviously tender ages of the band members. There can be no doubt that they have written some killer riffs and play them with intuitive composure, but it is not merely the fresh-facedness of the band that shows them to be a touch unfinished. It would be good to see them once they have taken possession of the prerequisite self assuredness to rock out, strum hard and loosen up. At present, it all makes for a rather stilted spectacle, and while their live sound is already formidable, it could just be spectacular with time.

Torche’s new album, ‘Harmonicraft’, tends very much towards the melodic side of the band’s sound. It is a brighter and less overtly riffed-up version of what some have felt the need to label, in abhorrent taste, ‘bubblegum stoner.’ The horror. However, such fuss has certainly played a part in wafting the band’s sweet yet heavy tones to some very lofty ears and there was a sense of expectation in XOYO. The venue was unusually busy for a Sunday night, thronging with an amusing blend of people who had presumably been told to be there by Zane Lowe and others who would not have needed any prompting to see this band play a genuine shore, or ditch.

Those who might have feared Torche’s newest material might be a case of ‘too much Grohl and not enough soul’ should, I imagine, have been assuaged by their blistering performance this evening. The songs from ‘Harmonicraft’ sound refreshingly heavy live – even the saccharine-sweet ‘Kicking’ had something of the night about it – while diehards were well served by a generous haul of older songs from ‘Meanderthal’ and their self-titled debut. This was a great set. It had the populism of the Foos alongside the pugilism of Floor (frontman Steve Brooks’ previous, highly recommended sludge metal band). And, support bands of the capital take note, they looked like they were having a great time.

Words: Martin Brown
Photos: Graham Berry

Old Forest

Music News

Hevy Festival announce first line up

hevyfestival2011We had a rad time at Hevy Fest last year and this year looks set to compete with a line-up that shows great potential for another fun weekend packed with great music.

Back in Port Lympne in Kent, at the Wild Animal Park, Saturday night will be co-headlined by The Dillinger Escape Plan and Architects. Dillinger aren’t even doing any other European festivals this summer. NONE! The rest of the line-up is looking like this so far:

The Dillinger Escape Plan (European Festival Exclusive), Architects (co-headline), Bouncing Souls, We Are The Ocean, Zebrahead, Capdown, Ceremony (UK Festival Exclusive), Polar Bear Club, Your Demise, Rise To Remain, Touche Amore (UK Festival Exclusive), La Dispute (UK Festival Exclusive), November Coming Fire, Awaken Demons (UK Festival Exclusive), Man Overboard, Lemuria, Brutality Will Prevail, Spycatcher, Death Is Not Glamorous, Rot In Hell, Polar, Cheap Girls, Heart In Hand, Hang The Bastard and Hildamay.

Weekend camping tickets are priced at £89 and will include free entry to Port Lympne Wild Animal Park for the weekend. Tickets will be available online from / 0843 221 0100 / and from selected HMV stores across the UK.

Probably worth it for Dillinger, Architects, Ceremony, Polar Bear Club, Touche Amore and La Dispute alone. OK, that’s quite a lot already. Roll on the announcement of the rest of the 80 band strong bill!