Live Review: Eagulls – Cardiff

Eagulls

eagulls logo11th October, Clwb Ifor Bach, Cardiff

Words James Gallagher

Leeds’ shoe-gazing punks Eagulls seem to have been on a constant tour since I first saw them at the same venue over a year ago. Not only did they adorn most of the UK’s summer festivals but their appearance on The David Letterman Show points towards them being the hardest working band in the land at the moment. At The End Of The Road festival some 6 weeks ago, the band appeared jaded which isn’t surprising given their infinite touring schedule but in a venue that can concentrate their angst and energy like a vacuum, this performance would prove to be of a much higher intensity than in the big top tent.

The Welsh Club’s top floor provided the abundant gloom that one would identify with the gothic, dark din that the 5 piece create. Only the crackly, D.I.Y images projected onto the black back drop radiated enough illumination to outline the Eagulls silhouettes arrival on stage. The band’s physical make up is strangely individual in appearance yet Eagulls’ do not have an obvious star. George Mitchell takes to the front, his gaunt seriousness never yielding to a suggestion of a smile. He remains utterly focussed and intensely aloof as his thin frame lunges forward, gripping the mic while his agonizing wail transcends above the decibels in Hollow Visions.

Tom Kelly on bass is an opposite appearing content as he eagerly pummels away care free, but his bass lines are unrelenting and turbo charged. He is the engine room driving Eagulls up and away. His low bass gathers pace which is the hallmark of their sound as the clashing distortion of Goldworthy’s and Matthews’ guitar, menacingly sting and attack the Clwb crowd. Mitchell doesn’t waste time with niceties between tracks, a mumble and tap of the drum sticks and they are away again. It took Nerve Endings to bring the crowd to life, a well oiled student group attempted a mosh pit but it sadly resembled a smiling riot.

Eagulls will be back in the same city this weekend for Dim Swn festival which might account for the comparatively sparse attendance but that takes nothing away from the raw illicit punch that Eagulls provide. They are important and at the start of something special. The show was ended with a scintillating version of Posessed which symbolises the band’s balance between their aggression and the restrained grasp they have of rhythm. The almost, lazy riff drones high above the glorious mesh of noise and with Mitchell’s passionate vocal expression it confirms Eagulls are the front runners in UK punk today.

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