Pelican / Torche - live in Brighton (Cover Artwork)

Pelican / Torche

live in Brighton (2008)

live show

The Engine Room is an appalling venue. It's worse than my grammar -- seriously. It's a dark hole, painted black, at the bottom of quite a dirty road and one seriously wonders if the smoking ban was a good idea considering the general smell of the venue -- some would call it "atmosphere."


For around 20 minutes, whilst we learn that the beer taps aren't working, Torche drove anticipation ever upwards with small blasts of drumming and completely overdriven guitar, fuzzier than a near-sighted person's vision.

When they finally got started, the sound of the guitars are incredible: loud-as-fuck being the most apt description. On record, there's a sense that they're a stoner metal band playing pop songs, bridging the gap between the Foo Fighters and uber-fuzzers like tonight's headliners, Pelican. On stage, perhaps due to no vocal presence in the sound whatsoever, they moved ever close to the sound-scaping, until they completely gave up the (rather good) songs after 20 minutes and played a very dull sound-scape (what's the point of doing that when Pelican are on next?!) to finish.

And now that Torche had made their presence felt, it was only a matter of time until the much-anticipated Pelican played. Now, I'm not a massive fan of ambient music -- I find repetitive riffs tremendously dull (even when I was a stoner) and therefore have never really paid Pelican much mind.

Pleasantly surprising, though, is that they go on so long, there's bound to be a riff or a moment where the energy grabs you and you end up enjoying the set despite yourself. They're not amazing musicians, but they're certainly doing something positive for the attention span of the youth of the day. The sound is all encapsulating, people are squeezing in every which way to get a glimpse, the riffs were like paint and the bobbing heads were the brushes.