Avalanche Party at Toft House

An upcoming band at a new venue. I mentioned a couple of posts ago, my meditative release from worldly intellectual and practical concerns includes loud, intense, visceral musical experience. The moral imperative is to give it your full attention. Last night was my latest fix.

The band are Avalanche Party and the venue was Toft House in Middlesbrough. That venue is the “club house” of Middlesbrough’s “Little Theatre” and it’s many decades since I visited the latter. Avalanche Party I’ve actually seen 2 or 3 times, previously at multi-venue, multi-band, short-set “showcase” events, but I’ve never mentioned them in the blog. (I have noted on Facebook seeing great reviews from Austin TX “SXSW”, and noted that their latest recordings were done at Joshua Tree CA. Not bad for a lil’ old band from Texas Castleton & Marske, NY – North Yorkshire that is).

It’s their local connection that brought them to my attention, partners of band members and latterly band members themselves, experiencing local pub and brewery gigs. Beer and live music, what’s not to like? AP even make their own vinyl product, with A- and P-sides, locally at “Press On Vinyl”. Creative, authentic stuff.

Last night was the first time I saw them headline their own gig. A night of three stonking drummers.

Support #1 were “Strong Lion Boys” – that Sleaford Mods / Benefits genre of angry socialist politics shouted over heavy rhythmic and drone backing: “We Still Hate Thatcher” with added “Up the Boro”. Three of the AP lads joined-in on that drone backing, bass, guitar and sax. Stonking drummer.

Support #2 were “Juku” – great young female lead on bass working well with another stonking drummer – put me in mind of QOTSA (as with AP themselves) driving but with staccato pauses and breaks – and two “gentlemen of a certain age” on stereotypically loud but otherwise unremarkable guitar. Guessing it’s her songs, her band, both of few words, and very promising vocals that would probably benefit from a better mix.

Avalanche Party, my only complaint would be the over-bright & busy, distracting lighting programmed from the mixing desk. The performance itself excellent again, and already recognising their crowd-pleasing numbers from previous gigs as well as a couple of new ones. A 5 piece with keyboard and sax as well as guitar, bass and drums providing lots of variety in pace, rhythm and dynamics. Very little “lead” instrumentation, not even riffs, mostly atmospheric but heavy drone backing to clear audible vocals and a wide range of backing / harmony vocals. Did I mention, stonking drum and bass again.

Proper team-work. Hard to fault.


Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.