(courtesy to Keys and Chords magazine)
(photos: JP Daniels)
A concert in held in AB Club means only one thing: if you want to go, you need to buy your ticket as soon as the announcement is made, as it sells out pretty quickly. The bands may not be famous (yet) but there will always be a core group of fans with strong reasons to see them who won’t let go their tickets no matter what other concerts appear in town later on. I’ll never forget the frustration of not getting to the Animals As Leaders’ concert, sold out at AB Club while there were still tickets on the same evening at the main AB Hall for Primus. Tough choices are to be made sometimes at this wonderful venue, but once you make them, you can’t be disappointed.
Uncle Acid and the deadbeats with Briqueville as opening act is probably the best concert I’ve been to this year. With Briqueville, probably the best discovery in years. And if I have to choose a keyword for the entire experience, that would be “mystery”.
I doubt there were many people present who knew Briqueville. There is nearly nothing on them online and there would have be nothing at all if they hadn’t had a concert with Amenra earlier this year in May. Dark music, dark clothing, dark imaginary, dark inextricable attraction. Five monkish characters dressed in black cloaks with golden face masks. They seem tall, thin and carrying instruments instead of a Scythe. Impressive presence but without that scent of black-metal kitsch you have sometimes on staged performances. Keeping simplicity at good taste levels. Dark church ambiance and tonality with rare vocal interventions. The music is upside down as well, the rhythmic section has complete control over the guitars, which are nevertheless present in skilled execution. The drums are in the center of the stage and music. The compositions are carefully constructed, long and hypnotizing, extremely hypnotizing due to the drums and bass division. A fresh restore of faith in the recent and sort of repetitive contemporary post-metal style.
So, who are they? Do they desire to stay unknown? Is this mysterious halo intentional or they will eventually come out from the shadow and be more active on the musical stage? They are definitely not five guys who just recently got out from a rehearsal garage, that’s for sure. A chilling and peculiar quote apparently taken from a Briqueville’s biography is in AB’s presentation of the event, which may explain the depths and darkness of their music: “The mastermind behind Briqueville is apparently an approximately 45-year-old man from East Flanders who has been in prison for almost 27 years after murdering his father with at least 6 bullets to the head, at the age of 13. This secretive project is the vehicle with which he finally tries to achieve catharsis. Although Briqueville has already appeared on stage a few times in the past (of which twice as support-act to Amenra), the band would appear to prefer performing at night in the deepest dens of forests spread over the entire continent of Europe.” Beautiful dark art work on their website as well: www.briqueville.com/ .
Uncle Acid and the deadbeats were a discovery of early last year. I heard “I’ll Cut You Down” on the radio, got the album “Blood Lust”, took a glance at the feminine presence on the cover, put it on my iPod and kept it there since then, listening to it in heavy rotation. They were my little dark treasure. It never crossed my mind, not even for a second, that the vocal is a man. Imagine my surprise there, to see that voice is a very masculine presence, even with a moustache! I haven’t felt so surprised since I discovered that the voice of Arch Enemy, Angela Gossow, was a woman.
During an interview to Doomsmoker in 2011, the brain behind Uncle Acid and the deadbeats declared: “Most music today lacks mystery, which is a shame. I just looked at what every other band was doing these days and decided to do the exact opposite just to see what would happen. It’s also convenient as we have no interest in twitter or photoshoots or ramming our shit down peoples throats. If the music is good enough, people will be smart enough to listen with their ears and use their imaginations to fill in any blanks. It’s obviously worked because one reviewer actually thought I was a woman! So, you don’t need any of those other things to distract people.” Thank you K.R. Starrs, I fell less of a fool now knowing that others fell into the same trap.
With Uncle Acid and the deadbeats, the mystery and darkness are taken to a different place. I overhear a conversation in the public: “C’est du Black Sabbath?” “Oui.” They have the darkness of Black Sabbath, the occultism of Led Zeppelin, the guitar solos mode of Jimi Hendrix. But, just to be clear, they do not copy any of these bands. There may be traces, but everything is so original. With songs like “Poison Apple”and “Valley of the Dolls”, they brought out psychedelic fever and the tabu subject of serial killers, packed up originally into their rock horror style.
“Blood Lust” was definitely the star album of the evening, rougher sounds came together with “I’ll Cut you Down”, “Death’s Door” and “Over and Over Again”. Also, “I Am Here to Kill You” (“all of you”, as we were menaced by KR Starrs). Songs from their first album “Vol 1”, released in 2010 one year after they formed, were also present in the setlist: “Crystal Spiders”, “Vampire Circus”, while tracks featuring their latest album “Mind Control”(out this year), were chosen to start and end the show with, like “Mt. Abraxas” and “Devil’s Work”.
If you take everything that’s quoted as references and influences for the music of Uncle Acid and the deadbeats, you pretty much get a list of all great bands from the 70s: Pink Floyd, The Beatles, Black Sabbath, Neil Young, Deep Purple… This band releases the 70s Beast out of you. It’s impossible not to head bang along in Ozzy Osbourne style.
Music is the soundtrack of our lives. But also an important cause of tinnitus and hearing loss.
If you’re a constant concertgoer, consider investing 150 euro in your health and go for a pair or custom made earplugs. That’s right, the kind all cool musicians have.
Once lost, the hearing does not come back. Search for a provider in your city right now.