Opening the show are local duo Rattle, a band made up of two drummers. I was interested to see how this would work - it’s music reduced to its primal essence, pure rhythm, percussion as melody with vocals chanted on top. They make an amazing sound, especially when you consider that they’re only just using more than one full drum set between them - I’ve seen drummers in bands with far more kit than Rattle have between them. Theresa and Katherine alternate between playing with their eyes closed, feeling the beat, and locked onto each other, watching for the next change in tempo. The set is unlike anything that I’ve seen before, it’s good, it’s interesting and I look forward to seeing where they can take the two drummer sound to next.
Opener Disintegration sets the tone for the Witching Waves with its classic 1977 punk rock sound. Throughout the set, they keep the speed of the punk bands but it’s more melodic, akin to something like The Modern Lovers. The choruses are pure Ramones though - sometimes 2, sometimes all 3 of the band repeat the title of the song four times. Yes, it’s simplistic at times but there’s a joyous energy there that makes it work. There are songs about everything, including the gentrification of London and Flowers, a lovely slower number, which acts as a counterpoint to the rest of the set. Then, just when you think they can’t get any better, they announce that they are taking donations for Girls Rock London after their set.
Despite their name, Eureka California aren’t actually from the US west coast, hailing instead from Athens, Georgia. There must be something in the water in that city as there a certain amount of REM’s early jangle in Eureka California’s garage rock. Elsewhere, Mexican Coke is like a version of Weezer who properly rock out. While the venue reaches temperatures hotter than the lava in the volcano lair of a Bond villain, the American duo sing of a “little boy with his finger on the button.” Who could they be referring to? Later they straight up apologise for Donald Trump. Hi ho. None of the songs here would sound out of place on the Scott Pilgrim vs The World soundtrack and I can think of few higher accolades than that. Partially due to the heat, it’s only a short set, but it’s an extremely satisfying one.