Words & Photography by Kieran Webber
I have long argued that The Princess Pavilions is one of the most underused venues in the south-west, it’s modest sized hall and beautiful surroundings make it totally unique. However, there has been a recent increase in activity within it’s modest sized halls. Local artists such as Milo Gore and their Red Van Records crew have graced its stage and more recently the legendary psych rock outfit The Brian Jonestown Massacre blessed its stage once again.
Opening up for BJM was the agro-psych band Melt Dunes, a young yet unrelenting force that arguably outplayed the main act. Their pulsing psychedlia matched with driving riffs created a cataclysmic sound that was dubiously infectious. The whole experience was a tangent, pushing and throwing with a multitude of sounds, by the time it was over I was left lusting for more.
After a speedy change over The Brian Jonestown Massacre cruised onto stage, plugged in and without further adieu struck the first chords to ‘We Never Had A Chance’. The crowd opened with a roar of appreciation, something that would continue through to the last song. The band’s career has been expansive and as such they have an impressive back catalogue of music it is hard to please everyone in the room. However, their set lasted a whopping 17 tracks and covered nearly everything. Stand out tracks where the classics such as ‘Anemone’ and ‘Pish’ both received huge praise from the crowd. However, personally I found the closing track ‘A Word’ to be the penultimate. The sprawling acoustic psych that was dragged out with a flurry of riffs, droning vocals and sedated percussion. It was the perfect finisher, once done the stage lights blackened and the main lights came on, as if ghosts the band disappeared. The crowd dispersed with a feeling of tranquility filling the venue.
I left the gig feeling incredibly satisfied with the performance of both bands, each one bringing something unique to the table. It was an absolute pleasure to walk away with a new discovery in the form of Melt Dunes and a privilege to have a band with the stature of BJM play in my home county.