Words & Photos By Liam Moody.

Manchester’s Soup Kitchen managed to pack out their basement on a cold, damp Sunday in January with hardy souls for the last night of heavy rockers Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs‘ (who shall from here on in be referred to as ‘Pigsx7’) mini UK tour, supporting their latest release Feed The Rats. They brought along support bands who, while disparate in sound, matched the intensity of the main attraction.

Locean took to the stage first, building up slowly through layers of white noise to an unsettling yet dreamlike level of dark ambience. Their wordless vocals and ominous bass drones created a sound that would feel right at home in any David Lynch project (helped by the fact of their bass player being a dead ringer for Killer Bob from Twin Peaks). These vocals eventually gave way to lyrical stream of consciousness as the band built the tension further. The drums, compete with broken and dented cymbals, mutated from a motorik-style beat into something far more tribal before devolving into a noisy jam. This was a single, unbroken, thirty-plus minute post-rock odyssey bordering on brutality, but there is a fragile beauty behind Locean’s wall of relentless noise.

Next up were Newcastle upon Tyne riot grrrl trio Tough Tits. A world away from Locean, Tough Tits offer a lo-fi blistering collection of short songs filled with socially-conscious anger and venom, not unlike spiritual predecessors Bikini Kill and Sleater Kinney. Songs concerned unfair beauty expectations, censorship double-standards and feminist frustration within a world where female punk rock musicians are still often regarded as a novelty. Their anger and venom is sorely needed (and actively encouraged) in today’s social climate.

Also from Newcastle upon Tyne (by way of Palm Desert, California, surely?) are headline act Pigsx7. A throwback to Kyuss and the stoner rock scene of the early 1990s, which is itself a throwback to the classic rock sounds of Black Sabbath and the like. Utilising downtuned guitars, sludgy, grooving bass and huge driving drums, they are heavy rock, not heavy metal. Frontman Matt Baty, wearing nothing but an open Hawaiian shirt (eventually lost into the crowd) and a pair of Newcastle United football shorts, came across almost as a Geordie Dr. Gonzo. Baty covers himself in water, shouts, screams and howls into a heavily-echoed mic (one of the only audience interactions was announcing that the preceding song was “about the dairy industry” – we’ll take your word for it). All the while, the band continue with their punishing riffs and deep, intense grooves holding the crowd in the palm of their hand. Pigsx7’s new album, Feed The Rats, consists of three monolithic sprawls of songs stretching out for forty minutes like a sun-scorched desert road across Arizona – a musical journey that translates perfectly from studio to stage, lapped up by an audience escaping the damp miserable winter of Northern England.

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Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs played at Soup Kitchen, on Sunday January 22nd, 2017.

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