On a cold wintry night in Glasgow, Uncle Acid And The Deadbeats brought their dark groovy psychedelic metal to town. They were also ably assisted by Canadians Blood Ceremony on the night. Pleasingly it was a sold out show so the venue was nicely packed through the night. Personally, this was my first experience of both bands live (in the case of the support only having heard a couple of songs) so I was quite excited to experience something new.
Headliners Uncle Acid played almost in the dark! The lighting was such that for most of the night I was watching shadows and shapes onstage. I could see plenty of action in those shadows as they played a set which featured tracks from all 5 albums with the latest featured a little more. A couple of things I did notice is firstly how effective and good the guitar solos are and the strength of the vocals, especially when it came to the harmonies. The sound was clear and the mix good and the music really kicks live. Throughout there were excellent riffs and grooves and the set just made you head bang and move your feet. It did me and to those standing around me. They did have a screen which mostly had their name on it with blood dripping down, but was used a couple of times at least to show videos where appropriate.
Uncle Acid doesn’t speak much between songs but seems to rather focus on just playing the music. During the night he only announced a couple of songs and asked us if we were all OK. They topped and tailed the show with tracks from the latest album with opening song from the album”I See Through You” providing the opening to the night. I confess I didn’t take as many notes on the night as I just found myself headbanging so much. In fact, I got neckache over half way through as I grooved away. “Mt Abraxis” was one of the best of the night with a touch of Kyuss and having several riffs which were very Black Sabbath. “Death’s Door” slowed things down a bit (he called it a “ballad” which might be stretching it a bit). This was slightly different as it was bluesier having a touch of Peter Green-era Fleetwood Mac about it. I did note how much I liked the guitar solo. It had a lovely groove behind it as well.
One of the tracks that I loved from Volume 1 was “Crystal Spiders” with it’s nod to Alice, John Lennon and Wolfmother. It didn’t disappoint. Terrific version. The vocals were clearer live than on the album! “I’ll Cut You Down” was so infectious yet so heavy with a great riff and groove. Again, one of my personal best moments from the gig. “Blood Runner” strangely reminded me of early Iron Maiden in its style and bass and guitar runs. Obviously the vocals sounded nothing like Maiden‘s.
They finished the night off with the longest track from the new album “No Return” which almost battered us down over nearly 10 incessant minutes of slow doomy heaviness. It was like they wanted to finish us off completely!
Definitely enjoyed my first sighting of Uncle and his band. Dirty scuzzy sludgy bluesy metal. What’s not to like?
Support, as I said, came from Blood Ceremony. They are a different band in many ways from the headliner yet they matched up nicely in others. Despite some technical problems at the start they soon warmed the crowd up. My first thoughts on hearing opener “Old Fires” were old school Purple and Uriah Heep. With the organ sound and the guitar solos, I was back in the 1970s (not a bad place to be). Of course with singer Alia O’Brien and the evil or darker sounding edge to the lyrics, there was also a similarity to Curved Air.
The second song added a different edge to their sound when the flute came out. Yes, easy to go “Jethro Tull” at this point, but that wouldn’t be totally fair (although if we were it would be very early Tull). They still have their own sound and take on what they do. They switch between the more classic hard rock and folk-rock sounds with elements of progressive and metal (Sabbath). “Oliver Haddo” was a real high point, all Cathedral meets Sabbath with moments of Purple, but with extra evil lyrics! Lovely stuff.
A special mention to drummer Michael Carrillo who has some lovely fills during the show, most notably on “Lolly Willows” (a brand new song which they were selling on the night on vinyl) and “I’m Coming With You” where the fill before the flute solo had me applauding. The new single did have an ending that was pure “N.I.B” by Sabbath.
Really good show and performance which makes me want to see a full headline performance from them sooner rather than later. For anyone who has a love of late 60s and early 70s rock (who also enjoy a mix of metal and folk) this is a band to check out (and go and see live) if you don’t know them.
Uncle Acid: 1. I See Through You; 2. Waiting For Blood; 3. Mt Abraxis; 4. Death’s Door; 5. Shockwave City; 6. Crystal Spiders; 7. Dead Eyes Of London; 8. Pusher Man; 9. I’ll Cut You Down; 10. Blood Runner; 11. 13 Candles; 12. Melody Lane (I think); 13. No Return
Blood Ceremony: 1. Old Fires; 2. Goodbye Gemini; 3. Drawing Down The Moon; 4. Half Moon Street; 5. Lolly Willows; 6. Oliver Haddo; 7. I’m Coming With You
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