Mudhoney, The Wildebeests, Thee Hypnotics – 30th November 2018 – Leeds Beckett University

Review and photography by Neil Vary (Neil Vary Gig Photography)

Mudhoney – 30th November 2018 – Leeds Beckett University

Garage rock veterans The Wildebeests get things started, before most people even notice that the band is on stage. The room quickly starts to fill up as the band, consisting of John Gibbs on bass, Lenny Helsing on drums and Russell Wilkins on guitar and vocal duties shared between all three, fire through a fast paced 30 minuets set of hard garage rock.

The Wildebeests – 30th November 2018 – Leeds Beckett University

After a quick change around it’s time for Thee Hypnotics to take the stage, kicking things off with ‘Soul Trader’. Jim Jones struts, kicks and screams his way around the stage, while Ray Hanson blasts out a wall of psychedelic guitar, the rhythm section of Phil Smith on drums and Jeremy Cottingham on bass keep everything in line. Half way through ‘Revolution Stone’, Ray and Jim kneel down on the stage and start beating out the rhythm with their hands like two preachers controlling the masses. They finish their set off with ‘Justice In Freedom’.

Now comes Mudhoney and it’s only at this point that it hits me that the unassuming man that’s just walked on stage is one of the forefathers of the Grunge rock scene. He looks more like he should be working in a warehouse not fronting Mudhoney. In fact working in a warehouse is just what Mark Arm does, managing the warehouse at Sub Pop Records in Seattle.

They waste little time and get things started with ‘Into The Drink’ before launching straight into ‘I Like It Small’, not giving the audience time to catch it’s breath. This gets the crowd bouncing about and the first crowd surfer of the night is up and away. ‘Hey Neanderfuck’ from the latest album “Digital Garbage” makes a swift appearance early on too.

On and on the hits keep coming with little talking in between, just the odd “thank you”. But with songs like ‘Touch Me I’m Sick’ and ‘Suck You Dry’ in their catalogue nobody really wants to hear talking. Near the end of the set Mark puts down his guitar, picks the mic back up and becomes a man possessed seemingly by Iggy Pop as he jumps, bounces, dances and runs around the stage with venom in his voice as he belts ‘Oh Yeah’, ‘Paranoid Core’ and ‘21 century Pharisees’, all from the latest album. Then that’s it. Off they go before returning for an encore, ending the night with ‘Here Comes The Sickness’, ‘Sweet Young Thing (Ain’t Sweet No More’ and a cover of ‘Hate The Police’ by the Dicks.

Everybody leaves the venue happy that they could have quite easily been back in the early 90’s at the height of grunge rock scene.

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