Friday 23 March, Birmingham rockers, Swampmeat Family Band, took over The Night Owl, in celebration of the launch of their latest LP, Too Many Things to Hide. With support from local bands Cave Girl, Bad Girlfriend and The Mighty Young, the venue was thriving, for what was a night of outstanding local talent.
Cave Girl opened the night, filling the room with their combination of dreamy shoegaze and melodic garage rock. Taking to the stage after them were Bad Girlfriend, whose noisy punk riffs, raw vocals and emphatic stage presence had the room frantically moving in true punk spirit. Garage rock trio, Mighty Young followed, and despite a prior injury to lead singer, Joseph Gatsby, the Birmingham locals still kept the room buzzing with their fuzzy blend of blues and punk.
Arriving on stage to an already captivated, bustling audience from the supporting acts that preceded them, Swampmeat Family Band had a presence to maintain, and of course, they did not disappoint, only adding to the buzz. Mixing bluesy folk and rockabilly with elements of garage rock, they have established their own unique sound, and a well-deserved, dedicated following to match it. Upon Swampmeat’s eagerly anticipated appearance, fans flocked to the stage, and despite filling the venue with their delightfully catchy melodies, it seemed as though the crowd couldn’t get close enough to hear their them.
Playing a variety of songs off the new album, Swampmeat Family Band kicked off their set with the infectiously catchy ‘Long way down’, and instantly the entire room was shaking, jiving and grooving along. The track highlighted Swampmeat’s ability to put their own spin on classic rock n’ roll, teaming classic blues riffs with underlying distorted guitars, and a chorus you can’t help but sing, shout and dance along to.
Playing another from the new album, Swampmeat followed with blues-fuelled, energetic ‘The Wire’. While the verses have slightly darker undertones thanks to the twangy, fuzzy, lo-fi guitar and thick double bass, the compelling rockabilly-esque chorus had the crowd dancing and shouting along.
‘Do it for the babies’ maintained the lively energy of the night, starting off slow and gradually picking up pace, it only got the crowd even more excited. While still living up to the standard they set themselves of catchy, bluesy riffs, these were less prominent in this particular track, allowing for the clean but somehow raspy vocals to really shine, further proving the talent of every band member.
Swampmeat Family Band leant more towards country elements with title track ‘Too Many Things to Hide’, demonstrating their diversity as a band. Opting for cleaner guitars, and less vivacious vocals, this was a change of pace for the band, but one which the crowd didn’t seem to mind, who continued to fill the venue with their lively dance moves.
Infectious, catchy, compelling, energetic, Swampmeat Family Band are true musical pioneers. Their captivating blend of rockabilly riffs, bluesy americana and fuzzy, lo-fi guitars will have you uncontrollably shaking your head and tapping your feet. Harmless yet intelligent, this is modern feel-good rock n’ roll at its finest.
About the author
LIV Gardner writes for Brum Radio and other websites and publications.