Being The Pits Takes A Positive Spin
If your mum knew you were here she’d freak out. A dark dingy room in north London, howling speakers powered by loose extension cables, and a band at the centre playing music louder than any crying airborne child.
Returning to Manor House’s New River Studios for their latest instalment, Pit Parties #6 continued from where #5 finished. Shaking walls, wet ceilings and enthusiastic patrons with ringing ears. Headlining the night were post-punk rockers the Wytches, celebrating their five year anniversary since coming together to create their own odd blend of distorted psychedelic blues.
Breaking from the same Brighton scene as Royal Blood, the Wytches have a sound that’s much less polished to that of their counterparts. It teeters on the rushed grunge of Drenge (‘Gravedweller’) to the echoed-reverb of Eagulls (‘Digsaw’), making for an occasionally uneasy listen that works perfectly within the confines of an all-encompassing 360 degree crowd. Pit Parties are a brilliantly unorthodox setting for watching live music, both for inclusion that it offers the audience as well as for the new perspective of seeing a group playing from all angles. The close proximity to everyone and everything provides a level of intimacy that’s becoming lost in most other venues courtesy of VIP sections and security fences; it’s a welcome change, even if only served on a smaller scale.
Regardless of whichever track the Wytches were performing, frontman Kristin Bell’s vocals are always growled, on occasion almost sounding feral (notably on ‘Wide at Midnight’). They're the group that every performer in your school’s Battle of the Bands wanted to be: purveyors of perfected power chords, played as backdrop to thrashed bass lines, pounded drumming and howling guitar riffs. Occasionally reverberated organs are entwined within live numbers, reminiscent of Strange House the Horrors, offering a level of versatility that suggests the Wytches have enough talent to continue their development through wonderfully obscure music.
Hosted by Whitechapel’s Fluffer Records, the next Pit Party is already on the horizon. Featuring a London-exclusive show from the excellent Black Lips.