Monday, 7 April 2014
White Hills & Gnod @ Deaf Institute 21.10.13
Space, the final front ear. These are the voyages of the Starship Gnod, or at least one of them. Every trip is different; that's one of the joys of Gnod. It didn't take much to imagine them being a bunch of sci-fi space pirates piloting their craft into unknown galactic regions with the power of music: Jamie Robinsons projections shifted like vectors on a hyperspace map on the big screen behind the array of consoles high up on the Deaf Institute stage. A deep moaning drone from Paddy and some longer duration distorted growls and grunts from Marlene and Alex seemed less vocalistaions than extra texture to the mutating technoid stomp'n'stagger that fuels their latest incarnation. Problems for Paddy with a rogue beat dropping in the wrong drive were quickly corrected by chief engine ear Chris, as they set the controls for the heart of the blck hole. Have guitars become too primitive for these beings? Certainly not for White Hills whose primal psychedelia connects the basic rock nerve centres to synaptic super novae. Their first scorching song "Forever In Space (Enlightened)" sums up in it'd title the feeling of spiritual unity that the best music can bring to a gathering of listeners, and was a perfect opener, sweeping everyone along with it's relentless momentum. White Hills are a band wo dress up for the occasion and make an effort to look like they rock. Guitarist Dave W had daubed heavy eye make up on his face and bassist Ego Sensation wore a velvet hotpants suit and they even had their amps covered in glittery material to keep the sound sparkling. With "In Your Room" and "Pads of Light" they delivered a double dose of compact psyche-blast number one hit singles from a parallel existation, followe dby the longer, slower "Song of Everything" where Dave ehorted everyone to open their eyes, minds and hands to take in "The Internal Monologue," the tripped out drone ambience that heralded the title track of their urrent album "So You Are... So You'll Be," a collision of Stooges riffing brutality ans spaced out monotone vocals theat eventually slowed to a backwards drum free guitar crawl like a hungover sunrise. After the most deranged "Daed" I've heard them play they were off for a bit before returning to shred up another old standard "Three Quarters" in extended form. Sadly they didn't play the brilliant closing instrumental form the album "MIST (Winter)" but you can't always get what you want. As the culmination of four days of gigging, including two days of the Carefully Planned Festival, this was perfect.