London Takeover II – The Howling Fiends – Nov LT – Fütumche – Thee Acid Tongue – Coventry – live review

On Friday night Fighting Boredom went to see four bands in Coventry’s best Community Arts Space, two from Coventry, two from London, the garage groove of The Howling Fiends, the thrashing full on Nov LT, the lunacy of Futumche and the punk rock’n’roll of Thee Acid Tongue, read what we thought below.

I meet the photographer in the pub and we spend two hours reviewing singles in hysterics drinking beer. We then pulled ourselves together and walked through town to the LTB for the London Takeover. Greeting various groups of sparkler wielding Chinese youngsters with ‘Happy New Year!’ The LTB is a community space and the new stage area looks great, red curtains and a drum riser with sculptures and artwork around it. 

First band on are Thee Acid Tongue, who are standing in for Gunther Prague. They don’t mess about at all. The guitarist starts playing loudly, okay, bloody loudly, the rest of the band join in and the bassist is immediately in the audience. It’s mayhem, the guitarist is bent over and the bassist is on one knee. Tracey steps to the mic and it’s a punk rock mess that is brilliant. The drums pound a rhythm as the music lurches along, the bass player is everywhere and has the best moustache of the night, Tracey has the best hair and Steve the best hat. They go straight into Lorraine and I’ve got cold shivers down my neck, what a song, just pause and look at how much attitude is on the stage right now. The drummer counts in another song and grins, the cymbals are smashing all over the shop and you know that the four of them have found their place. It may be nearly fifty years since ground zero in the music scene but this is what happens when the fire still burns brightly inside of you. Rock’n’roll is really all that matter and this lot have it still. There may be many wasted years since we all found the sound that defined us but deep down all it takes is a nudge and we are back to being kids again. 

The music has become a lurching nightmare as Tracey toasts us with a can of red stripe and announces that ‘We’re not Gunther Prague’ they kick off again and the mic doesn’t work but even while they’re making it function the bass player is in the crowd and Steve never stops playing. They kick into a truly low and dirty boogie and Tracey spins the mic around on the lead. The drums blast and they fall into true hardcore and it’s brilliant. They finish and my ears ring. I’m unsure what or who can follow that.

Well, I’ll tell you who. Futumche. Who start the same way, Steve just starts tearing the place apart on his guitar and Jaz joins in as Brandon retightens the drums. Jaz stands, as smart as with a shirt and cravat on wearing shades. Sunglasses after dark man, the only way to go. 

They go into the first track, the drums start hard, the bass is all over it and the vocal is loud and angry. It’s post-hardcore-punk and yes I just made that up. They have the sound nailed down tight and they defy any attempt at characterisation, they beong in no genre, even ones I have made up. Maybe it’s funk-punk-freebase-jazz, but I doubt it. At the moment they are playing immense, free flowing drums with a nasty fast low down guitar and a hard held back bassline, but that changes almost immediately into something even more strange, even harder and even more free. Brandon and Jaz swap drums and bass, and the post-punk slow burning rumble switches into a psychotic psychedelic echoing with seriously deranged drums underneath. Then a wasteland of broken music as Brandon sings.

For me, this is the closest I’m ever going to come to seeing the Minutemen and their whole fuck the rules of punk, do what you like because it all matters attitude. This band could be opening for Husker Du or Black Flag and blow both bands away, this is real.

They understand punk and have the attitude and I think that they will be mortified with the high praise I am giving them. Jaz is back on bass and Brandon behind the drums and the music is even more off the wall than before, I don’t know how the sound has gotten to where it is now and really no inkling of where it’s going next. God only knows what’s going on! It’s just Futumche. Jaz sounds utterly pissed off now but he sings right from the heart. Steve is bent over and destroying his guitar. It slows down, then speeds up and then I’m lost again. Bursts of sound then quietness before the explosion, my notes don’t make sense, there’s just too much going on. 

Steve announces that the next two are new songs, ‘We wrote this on Tuesday’ he says and they play a hardcore song that is very subtly completely wrong, I don’t know why, but even with the wrongness, it’s still brilliant.

It’s high drama, the music is slower but they don’t get any less mesmerising. How do they do this? When’s the next album coming out? They finish with vocal harmonies and it’s done. I try and catch my breath. 

There are a load of people on stage and none of them look over twenty, Nov LT look like the MC5 and the vocalist is the second person tonight who is cool enough for sunglasses after dark. The drummer is wearing a Nervous Breakdown Black Flag shirt so also wins points for them. He counts in the first song and it’s a fast thrash with a hard as nails groove, it’s an excellent explosion of chaos. The singer gives his all and the band head into the next song as hard as the first, it’s full on with an almost Anarcho-Punk vibe.They stop and there’s a call ‘Can I borrow a guitar off someone please, I’ve broken this one, I promise not to break yours though..’ It’s sorted with Steve from Thee Acid Tongue handing him his. There’s a low bass rumble and it’s a fast start. The singer is bent double screaming. His combat jacket abandoned. It’s a wall of sound and it’s oh so good. They are all completely focused on what they are doing. The noise has high guitars slithering over it and there’s a  real feel of the Dead Kennedys here, how it’s more than just thrashing, more than noise. The songs are short sharp shocks to the system.

The singer is killing it, the guitarist next to him is up and in peoples faces, as cool as. The rest of the band hold it all down, including a bassist that looks like he should be in Spandau Ballet, resplendent in his shirt and tie, brilliant. They are excellent.

The Howling Fiends have the best band name of the night. A four piece and the guitarist from Nov LT plays the bass. They start with a hard garage groove added to by the woman playing synth centre stage. It’s a strong sound held down tight, driven on by the drummer who plays like a lunatic, that’s a good thing. The synth gives it an edge and makes the whole thing deeper. It gets spikier and sounds like it could be on any of the Nuggets or Pebbles compilations of garage singles. It’s a great noise. It collapses into a psychedelic swirl and then back to the brilliant garage groove.

A triumph of a night, I need to go to bed.

The Howling Fiends

Nov LT


Thee Acid Tongue

The Howling Fiends are on Instagram, Facebook and have a Bandcamp page.

Nov LT are on Instagram and Bandcamp.

Futumche are on Facebook, Instagram and Bandcamp.

Thee Acid Tongue are on Instagram, Facebook and Bandcamp.

All words by Adrian Bloxham, all pictures by Martin Ward.

Adrian Bloxham

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *