Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – Leicester live review

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – Leicester O2 Academy – 5th of March 2023

Another Sunday night, another gig. This time the excellent Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs in Leicester. We’ve missed Pigs x 7 a few times now and what with lock down and life in general it’s been a while since we caught up with this Hard Rock Juggernaut. But we made it this time, read what we thought below.

‘So we count you as part of the band, you’re part of it, you get the joke, you’re one of us. 

But, there’s an initiation you need to do to be truly part of us, to be a true member of the band,

So the next time you get in a taxi and the driver says, so what do you do, you answer, I’m in a band, so what type of music do you play? you reply Heavy Rock? What like Prefab Sprout? And you just agree to that because you want the conversation to end as soon as it can, so then he says, so what’s the name of the band. So you try and make eye contact, if it’s safe to do so, and you look at them and say ‘Pigs’ pause ‘Pigs Pigs’ pause ‘Pigs Pigs’ pause ‘Pigs Pigs’ and you look into their eyes and in that instant, in that moment you will truly know what it feels like to be a member of this band.’

Mathew peppers the gaps between songs with humour, stories and thanks to us for being there, to start with he announces that they are all holograms and they are sitting watching Netflix and eating pizza, then after a text from their manager regarding poor ticket sales it transpires that the audience is the hologram and they are actually there playing. He’s open, funny and engaging. Then again, there’s the music.

Right before they come on AC/DC’s For Those About To Rock rings around the room, I don’t think it’s accidental. The lights go down and there’s a huge amount of feedback in the darkness. I’ll pause here, you could insert the word huge into most of the sentences to follow, I haven’t, but you get the idea. Immediately the drums kick in and we are straight into riffs a-go-go, the singers all over the place in his slinky silky fighting shorts, vest and moustache. The sound of Heavy Heavy Heavy Metal Sludge Rock envelops you and that’s all you know.

One guitarist spends most of the gig either bent double or holding his guitar up like an offering to some six stringed entity. The bassist stands rock solid, planted on bare feet, bearded, focused and hard as nails. The other guitarist is stick thin and looks like he’s on day release from Uriah Heep. He just stares out into the crowd and creates the most immense noises without seeming to notice. He is, by far, the coolest member of the band. I have no idea what the drummer looks like, as is traditional at a Hard Rock Stoner Sludge Metal show, the tallest person in the audience is standing directly in front of me. But the beat is held down, hard, loud and huge. Then, the first song is already gone, I’m shell shocked. Feedback and then it gets heavier, louder, slower and nastier. The bass and drums get nasty and the singer is giving it his all. He only stands still to hold the mic before him like a talisman and stare lividly into the crowd. He seems to be taking part in some type of insane aerobics class for the whole set. He commands your eye and his voice makes this music even better. He howls, lunges, keeps eye contact with some terrified crowd member and then moves on. It’s exhausting just watching him go.

The crowd is starting to erupt too, the sound gets bigger and louder and the noise rises to a glorious level. It’s what Metal Hard Stoner Sludgy Rock needs to sound like, and Pigs know this. They layer on the bombast, the riffs and the heaviness and let loose a furious Psych out.

I can feel the bass and drums go through me, if the walls aren’t shaking they bloody should be. It’s intense. It just carries on rising and this is completely over the top, a gloriously heavy wipeout. 

We are informed that the new album, for a very short time, but for real, outsold Pitbull’s greatest hits! 

Then it’s a nasty boogie beat and the vocal just adds to the noise. My brain’s flipped, the photographers just gone past escaping the pit in front of the barrier, he looks like I feel. I’m not going anywhere near the stage. The notes and beats fall down onto us like bombs as the vocals turn into a howl as if each member is trying to obliterate the sounds of the others. The song ends and the bassist stretches out his wrists and circles his hands and smiles. Then it carries on. 

The vocals are now something like a werewolf trying to communicate, it’s a growling howl and he flings himself around as the sound of rage surrounds him. It’s more than singing, it’s another weapon in this glorious sound. An insanely good Sabbath grind slows things again and then disappears into feedback. Heralding another Psych Rock Acid Drenched Trip into noise. It sounds Lovecraftian, the noise the old Gods make when they finally come back to wipe us clean, and we stand, watching, smiling. 

What strikes me in the middle of this immense spectacle is that they are loose, properly loose, as only a band that knows each other this well can be. There’s space to swing and groove in the music as the centre of the crowd are showing us. The psychedelic darkness swirls in again.

We get a fun fact about Leicester, handed to the singer by the coolest member of the band, of which I doubt the veracity, I’m not sure that Noel Edmunds was born in 1986 in the King Richard III carpark… 

The it gets even more distorted, louder and heavier. It sounds like your mind dissolving and disintegrating. There’s another Blues boogie and another freakout added to with a synth. This is irresistible and it’s brilliant. They finish on yet another huge, gigantic enormous song and you ask.. How big is this? How loose is this? Just how bloody epic are they? The stage is lit by strobes and the psych howls end on a high.. until it’s feedback, then the guitarist flicks a switch and it stops.

I’d say it was huge, but you already know that. Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, watch their eyes when you say it and you will know if they are in on the joke too.

Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs’ website is pigsx7.com. They are on Facebook, Instagram and Bandcamp and Tweet as @pigsx7

All words by Adrian Bloxham all pictures by Martin Ward.

Adrian Bloxham

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