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Camden Barfly, London 16 October 2009
been heard of Californian heavy progressive rockers Bigelf here in the
UK, despite releasing four albums in the last thirteen years. Last
week they were playing huge arenas on the 'Progressive Nation' tour along
with such heavyweights as Dream Theater and Opeth. Tonight was their
turn for a headline show at the tiny Barfly.
tonight I hadn't even listened to one note from Bigelf but as soon as the
band kicked in I was immediately hooked. Combining a sound from the
down tuned doom guitar groove of Black Sabbath along with the heavy
keyboards of ELP and early Uriah Heep mixed along with a touch of
commerciality. I was in prog heaven, having waiting some twenty five
years for a band to produce this wall of sonic sound.
bands can attract members of all ages to their show and considering Big
Elf are a new name in Britain this was no mean feat, most here tonight
after witnessing their performance a week before as a support act at
Wembley Arena just six days before.
Damon Fox takes centre stage surrounded by his mellotron keyboards which
take up most of the stage space. Sometimes chaotic as he takes on
vocal duties too between blasts on the mellotron. Long time band
member Duffy Snowhill provides thunderous heavy bass lines and when he is
not riffing there are some text book Heep via Purple guitar licks from
guitarist Ace Mark.
set that heavily relied on their last two releases ('Hex' 2003 and new CD
'Cheat The Gallows'), this set was a rare occasion that not once did I
want to pay a visit to the gents or nip outside for a crafty fag. I
was so absorbed by the music that I didn't want to miss a single second.
was pompy and bombastic ,but they did have some transcending quieter
moments as on 'Disappear'. 'Money It's Pure Evil' was built up into an
instrumental crescendo. With time running short the band opted for a
cover of Pink Floyds 'Have A Cigar' sounding like an old stratched vinyl
copy with beer spilt all over it. Marvellous stuff.
This was one
of those gigs that in a couple of years I'll be saying ''I was there.''.
Bigelf may be little giants for now, but they're soon be headlining the
likes of Brixton Academy's. Mark my words. There is a whole
generation of music fans out there who can relive the sound of the
progressive seventies with a new twist. Enjoy.
Set list : The Evils Of Rock'N Roll / Neuropsychoptic Eye / Pain Killers /
Blackball / Disappear / Bats In The Belfry I / Hydra / Money It's Pure
Evil ... encore... Have A Cigar
and photos by Mark Taylor
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