(the) Melvins – 26th October 2018 – Leeds Stylus – Review and photos
Feature by Graeme J Baty
What a bill! I’ve managed to miss the Melvins on their recent tours due to gig clashes, remarkably I’ve never seen them before. So when this one was announced with thee Jon Spencer as support nothing was going to stop me from getting to this one! Looking at the calibre of the musicians here tonight it’s a who’s who of 90s alternative music!
The Melvins have been a bucket list band of mine for many years. From the opening riff of Sesame Street Meat I knew it’d be worth the patience and 200-mile drive to see them! That first blast of pure guitar tone and sheer volume was intoxicating! I think to myself; holy shit they’re loud, holy shit this is awesome!
Dual bass guitars is a thing of pure joy for me. The Melvins lineup seems very solidified now and it works tremendously well. With two very charismatic players; Jeff Pinkus (Butthole Surfers) and Steven Shane McDonald (Redd Kross) whose playing complements each other without muddying or stepping on each other’s toes. It’s a great sound. One of the things I love about the Stylus is its sheer capacity for volume, it’s lighting rig may suck but damn that sound is fantastic and I suppose you can’t have everything!
Honey Bucket (their closest thing to a smash hit from their early 90s classic period) makes a welcome appearance midway through the set and it sounds better live than I’d ever imagined.
A stack of covers are in the setlist tonight, the highlight for me being the rather ridiculous Butthole Surfers cover; Stop Moving to Florida which they absolutely nail. I’m not normally one for covers but when the Melvins do them they make them entirely their own. A few others, as featured on their latest release Pinkus Abortion Technician include a Stones and Bowie covers and of course Redd Kross which seems only appropriate as they have RK bassist Steven Shane McDonald decked in a red animal print suit and looking like he’s having the time of his life! Sadly I didn’t get a decent colour shot of it 🙁
This is from setlist.fm and sounds about right, I didn’t manage to get a snap of the setlist this time.
Sesame Street Meat
At a Crawl
The Kicking Machine
What They Say
Stop Moving to Florida
Edgar the Elephant
Let It All Be
Don’t Forget to Breathe
Onions Make the Milk Taste Bad
The Talking Horse
Evil New War God
King Buzzo stalks the stage with furious energy proving why he’s one of the greatest frontmen of all time. The Melvins are one of the most unique acts going and are easily one of the best bands I’ve seen in my 20 years of gigging. This would make my top ten gigs of the year alone but with the added bonus of Jon Spencer (head here for that review) it’ll prove to be one of my favourite shows of 2018!