Friday 16th July, 2010 @ The Victory, Hereford, Herefordshire, ENGLAND.


What’s looking like a irregularly reoccurring event is the Friday night gigs at the Victory in Hereford presented by The Groove Merchants – this time showcasing four bands for the entrance fee of just £2.  Tonight the night opened with a band made up of two members of local band Eaglebeef plus a couple of others.  They called themselves the PHAT JAM ALL STARS and took us through a short set of improvised blues based songs, including a few covers. It was all a bit rough and ready and maybe seemed a little like watching them practice, but it did have the odd moment of magic and more than anything showed great enthusiasm and spirit.

Next up were the wonderfully named FETUS CHRIST who produced the intensity of early Napalm Death but with the grind of Eyehategod, blazing out mainly short songs, some literally only lasting seconds but the end of each was usefully delimited with the vocalist proclaiming “cheers”. They were a real scream, very entertaining and beneath all the fun there were some cracking riffs to be found, often surfacing in the slower, sludgy, grinding sections. The work rate of the drummer was quite amazing, he looked to be putting in one hell of an effort to maintain the sonic speeds of the majority of the songs and was largely doing an ace job too, well done to him. Collectively they were a blur of arms, sweat and hair with a bad case of musical tourettes. Fuck backpacking across Australia or climbing Mount Kilimanjaro, ultimately it has to be said that one of life’s essential experiences should be a Fetus Christ gig, as it never quite feels the same again afterwards!

Third band were THE HYSTERICAL INJURY, who were a duo of Annie on bass/vocals and Lee on drums but damn did they kick up a noise for just the two of them. An impressive and ballsy performance particularly from Annie who played her bass like a rhythm guitar and with the use of several pedals made quite an assortment of sounds, from clean bass chords to bleeding distortion and were used to best effect. Her vocal delivery went from screams, to squeaks, from painful to pleasurable while giving an enthusiastic, energetic, sometime manic and always animated performance. Lee kept up a fair pace and injected the power into the rhythm, yet impressively maintained control and restrain when required. They had a spiky, raw style with lots of tempo changes but  somehow through  all the heavy

Groove Merchants Flyer 16-July-2010

fuzz still retained a hook laden and often melodic thread that should ensure them plenty of wider attention.  It’s dirty, rock-laced pop with gushing charisma and a kick like a mule.

The final band for this evening were strangely named THE RADIATOR. They turned out to be a damn fine band playing blues based classic rock with one hell of a funky backchat. Playing a set with an almost consistently irresistible beat, it was impossible to stop yourself from moving to the rhythm – they’ve definitely got the funk! Tight, cool grooves were generously dished out to a staving crowd who lapped them up gratefully. A great combination of character, talent and soul gave this band the edge tonight and featured the considerably gifted guitar playing of Sam Hughes, it was an enjoyable experience catching these guys and one that would be good to repeat.

Dave Yates

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