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Sunday, December 17, 2017

Blazed and Confused - The Great Southern Doom Fest - New City Hotel - Christchurch - 9 December 2017

The title will inform most as to the sort of music presented on this night of noisy mayhem. I was most interested in seeing Triumphs again and hopefully picking up their latest slab of vinyl and Arc Of Ascent of whom I also have a couple of records and was keen to meet their leader, Craig, whom I kinda knew through a Facebook Group, Also Bloodnut was one I had heard a little via Bandcamp and liked enough to bee keen on seeing them live.
 The stage was split into two halves with a band playing on one half of the stage while the next band set up behind curtains on the other half of the stage. Each band played an approx 30 minute set.
 The first three sets were from Old Haven, Shetland and Yarnspinner. I knew nothing about any of them, enjoyed the first with just guitar and drums with some vocals and also enjoyed the second band with a larger line up. A week later as I right this, my memory of their sets is already fading, but I do remember liking what I heard. YarnSpinner seemed to be somewhat louder than the first two bands who I thought played at just the right volume but I was actually struggling with the loudness of Yarnspinner and so went out to get some ear plugs from my car for the rest of their set. I don't recall much about what they played.
 Triumphs were up next and unlike last time I saw them, I believe they played more material from the earlier album than the new one as I seemed to recognize more of the tunes, although I had listened to the new record on Bandcamp a couple of times. Their music is all instrumental, so no vocal melodies to help identify their tunes but I definitely knew all they played. Their set was blood excellent and I would have loved them to play longer. I had removed my earplugs for their set as I didn't enjoy the muffled sound with them in.
  The next two bands, Opium Eater and Enfire, I can't sat too much about as I got distracted by checking out the growing crowd, moving to the back of the room for a drink and a respite from the earsplitting volume and also got into a shot conversation with the guitarist from Triumphs as to what had happened to their new album, which I was intending to buy a copy of while at this gig. Unfortunately the album had been delayed from the pressing plant for an unknown time.
 Next up was Bloodnut and I was pretty close to the stage for this ferocious 3 piece who played some excellent bass lines, some great guitar  and thundering drums, I really enjoyed their high octane set although there was a fair bit of distortion that muddied the sound and I couldn't understand much of what the singer said or sang.
 Then Arc of Ascent hit the stage, their first gig in Christchurch for many years, and perhaps the band I was most looking forward to. I already had their first two records and picked up their latest from the merch table earlier in the night. I also sorta knew the band leader from Facebook so was keen to say hello at some stage. Anyhow their set was as good as I expected, the band was tight and the riffs awesome, with I think a majority coming off the latest record(which I think is their strongest). There was a tall, quite old looking gentleman with a beer in hand and conservatively dressed next ot me as they played their last track. He just stood there looking straight ahead and not moving as the wall of great noise hit us. as they finished, he turned to me, cracked a big and slightly drunken smile and said"that was fucking awesome! What are they called?"
  I managed to catch Craig's attention before he left the stage and introduced myself and he said he will catch me after he packed up. I caught some of the next band, Stonehurst, but spent the rest of their set in conversation with Craig. The last band was from Australia and called Hobo Magic, but it was already 12.30am and I had an hours drive home so I excused myself from Craig and left.

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