This Friday sees industrial four-piece The Grafham Water Sailing Club make the quick jaunt across from Coventry to bring their Gothic murk to the environs of The Oobleck. Topping a bill that features support from three acts – Burning Alms, Mirrorhall and Mutes – that share their penchant for constructing walls of noise, the group’s icy sheen is the perfect accompaniment to the increasing cold of the November nights.
The Grafham Water Sailing Club
Inspired by the cavernous qualities of Joy Division and The Horrors, the harrowing post-punk of this moody Coventry quartet, captured on a string of vinyl exclusives and online-only tracks, frequently veers between bleak and melodic, proving anything but smooth sailing. Recently reclaiming our affections with the release of new song, Nettle Hill, a snappy, reverb-happy blast number notable for an hypnotic guest vocal turn from Gracie Vee (ex-Laced), the band, propelled by this headline slot, look primed to make 2015 a year to remember.
Ex-Calories members John Biggs and Tom Whitfield have, since leaving that band behind, been on mission to bring uncompromising rock back to the forefront of the U.S alt-rock scene. Perfecting their art on lengthy debut album, In Sequence, they come armed with an abrasive set peppered with lashings of feedback and an impassioned punk sneer.
Owners of blackened hearts and an intoxicating genre-bending sound, Mirrorhall’s confessional songs are granted further bleakness by the skeletal swirl of their instruments. Brutal yet resonant, the August release of five-track EP, Palindrome Nights, alerted many to the band’s maudlin intensity, and made them one of Birmingham’s most intriguing prospects. Miss them at your peril.
Once the exclusive project of one-man band, James Brown, Mutes has since evolved into a three-piece and added tempestuous 80s-era punk influences to an existing brand of queasy dream pop. Careful to maintain the lo-fi ethos that made Mutes’ early material so impressive, the expanded bands have become noted for their distinctive live shows which, trippy and bracing in equal measure, have turned left many an audience in complete ecstasy.
The Grafham Water Sailing Club play The Oobleck in Birmingham on Friday, November 14, Tickets are priced at £6 advance and are available here.
Words: Dan Owens