Sixty Million Postcards, Bournemouth
It’s “Independent Venue Week”, it’s Thursday night and Sixty Million Postcards welcomes two big hitters to its stage. Before tonight’s support take their places the “We Broke Free” DJ’s are entertaining us with some quite superb sounds from the current scene.
And so: at the slightly later time of 8.35, Bournemouth Alt/Rockers Deltorers take to the stage with little fuss. No strangers to the local stage this trio get straight down to business. They have merchandise to sell and a new single out they are here to set a marker. They open in their traditional style with “Blacklisted” amid huge riffs, a throbbing bass and the hardest hitting drummer in the Bournemouth! Any early leanings toward Nirvana have been usurped in favour of a whole host of influences, both vocal and musical.
Nathan (guitar/vox) employs the slow/fast formula in the early songs, feeling his way in and getting this crowd onside. Brenden (bass) shoegazes almost throughout but is no less important, his loud throbbing bass is a constant reminder of the weight of their sound. Zoot (drums) completes this powerful trio with a ferocity not often seen in these parts-and this is the thing, Deltorers are the sum of their (respective) parts. “Command and Escape” is an early highlight with its chiming chord intro and haunting vocals. Nathan’s intricate picking also doesn’t go unnoticed. “Dirty Love” precedes “Time to Evolve”, which I guess is rather apt. Not content with being just another Grunge outfit with delusions of a “Sub Pop” re-hash,
Deltorers have evolved while expanding their sound somewhat. Before “Plastic Gold” Nathan beckons everyone to move forward – we all obey on command. This is a cue to up the power. We even get some 12 Bar Blues to begin one song (whose title escapes me)! The ever popular live favourite “She Looks Nice” once again doesn’t disappoint as the band get louder and heavier. Penultimate track “Insight” is the perfect warm-up to brilliant set closer “I Guess We’ll Wait and See”. This is the longest Deltorers set I’ve witnessed, having seen them a few times over the years. Clearly 6 or 7 years gigging hasn’t gone to waste and I can only see their trajectory rising.
Around 10pm The Wytches take to the stage. They are greeted by a packed pit who are vociferous from the first song to the last. I have to admit to being a Wytches virgin, having only sampled them on Youtube. But tonight I watch and listen open minded, hoping to be impressed. They open with “Ghost House” which for me doesn’t bode well-it’s doom-laden; and with all band members Gianni [drums] aside, quite literally shoegazing while pummelling our eardrums I’m unimpressed. My mood changes almost immediately from song two though. “Kristian” (guitar/lead vocals) tunes his guitar with precision before launching into Darker – a “habit” he insists on before every song in their set. “Cant Show How” increases the power before crowd favourite and early highlight “Gravedweller” whips this young, hairy crowd into a frenzy. Between song banter is at a premium-Kristian simply says “cheers” after each song. It’s usually at this point I’m looking for clues as to influences, yet there are so many. Mudhoney would be an obvious one but I’m seeing and hearing so many bands in their overall sound and stage presence. Kristian’s vocal reminds me of a very early Thom Yorke (pre-stadium fillers), but one could argue for many other frontmen.
What is not in doubt, however is their power – the noise they make is simply huge. “Bone Weary” is anything but looking around me, while “Holy Tightrope” gets the moshers moving ever more furiously. With no crash barrier, it is left to one of the band’s female crew to act as a human barrier. Given her diminutive size, she does a remarkable job keeping this frenzied audience from off of the stage. However, at one point the bedlam results in flying mic stands and a seething mass of bodies on the stage. It’s all good natured though and the band seemingly enjoy the adulation. “Holy Tightrope” has a chiming guitar intro before exploding into life, this crowd responding with equal fervour. There’s a strained, almost haunting feel to Kristian’s vocal which so suits this song. I can’t help thinking though that the song titles have a running theme, mainly “dark” – or is that just too obvious? Anyway, The Wytches are gradually winning me over and the crowd reaction would suggest they are not just one trick ponies.
They have a dearth of influences to keep me happy including Psych, Surf, Rock, Grunge, and Garage to name just five. The fact that they can mould some or all into their quite distinct sound is most impressive. Gianni’s hitting seems effortless yet doesn’t lack power; far from it. Daniel (bass/b.vox) is less conspicuous, sharing stage space with Mark (keys/2nd guitar) who is onstage one minute, off the next! Penultimate track “C-Side” is “Pumpkins-esque” in the intro, giving way to more power before they depart on “Robe for Juda”. They exit stage left but return five minutes later for a one song encore. I retreat to the back of the room after hogging the speaker the entire set. They sound just as good though and leave to long, loud applause.
If this event is to be the catalyst for more WBF events then long may they continue. For this 50-year-old it felt like being transported back to the ‘Hot House’ (Sound Circus) circa 1990-1993 during the whole Indie/Britpop explosion. The buzz in the room tonight was infectious, as was the music. Two great bands, a great DJ and a crowd totally up for it! I really feel this could be the start of something.
As for the bands; Deltorers stock continues to rise. They can forget playing to 5 people in the local “toilet” – bigger stages are around the corner. Talking of bigger stages, The Wytches; should they return to these parts, will need to find a bigger venue next time around, with a barrier and a larger pit area!
Canít Show How
Wide at Midnight
Feeling We Get
Robe For Juda
Riding On Horseback
Share without Gain
Command & Escape
Time to Evolve
She Looks Nice
I Guess We’ll Wait & See
Words, Pictures and Videos by Ross A. Ferrone.