Now, I was more than a bit wary when I entered the Oxford Art Factory on Thursday the 21st of May. With a line up consisting of everything from funk to psychedelic rock, stoner rock to shoegaze, I was anticipating quite a unique experience. Suffice to say I got one.
I didn’t catch many band names, a lot of them not being worth a mention, but playing early Eye Of The Spider really made an impression. Their loosey goosey brand of psy rock was a welcome change to all the upbeat pop rock and electro that had been blaring from both the stage and DJ booth earlier.
The singer, a pentagram hanging from her mic stand, had a voice that could command sea creatures if amplified underwater in the opinion of this humble reviewer. The guitarist looked like had had been smoking cones since he woke up, and judging by the aroma wafting off the stage I’m not far wrong.
The real highlight of the band though is keyboardist Aleesha Dibbs. Having seen her play in solo mode before many times it was really refreshing to see her playing more of a support role in the band. Support or not, for me she stole the show. Finger pounding down on the ivory like a pimp slap on a ho, she delivered an amazing set as did the rest of the band.
The next few bands don’t even warrant a mention, apart from The Jungle Fever Sessions who must be smoking something whack as Australians shouldn’t be that funky.
Yo Ho Diablo took to the stage with an awkward introduction from the emcee, letting loose an old school set of stoner rock and filthy grunge. With the bass player and drummer both sporting dreads and the singer guitarist having hair halfway down his arse I reckon this band should hit up a shampoo company for a sponsorship. No seriously, if they told me, ‘for strong roots and lasting shine use blah blah,’I’d buy it. If you rock that hard you have no reason to lie.
The final act for the night Kirin J. Callinan was by far the highlight for me. With the crowd thinning out slightly due to the Holy Soul’s set starting in the sidebar next door, the main room of the Oxford Art Factory did seem a little empty to begin with, but the second Kirin started up there was no room at all, the sheer amount of sound coming off stage filling the room to capacity.
Joined on stage by two drummers, one of whom was his old Mercy Arms counter part Julian Sudek, Kirin had also brought in the aid of Paddy Harrowsmith and Tom Crandles from the recently returned Ghostwood. I only know the second drummer as Alex, but by god he was a beast.
Anyway while being a little loose in part (a fact that can be easily forgiven considering the guys only had a few days to prepare as I found out later), the set was one of the most interesting and powerful performances I have seen recently.
Finishing up in his underwear with Manukah honey spilled all over his chin, Kirin look drained, destitute and fucking tired. I get the feeling he wasn’t happy with his set, but Kirin, if you’re reading this, you fucking rocked.
Photos By The English Gentleman
Photos: Moustache Train Presents... Oxford Arts Factory, 21st May 2009 - Music Feeds