I’ve been going to see The Demons (or to give them their full name You’re Smiling Now But We’ll All Turn Into Demons, which is a bit of a mouthful) play since I was 19, that’s 7 years of watching the same four guys playing music. Over the years they’ve honed their craft to the point that they are able to write incredible, balls to the wall, rock songs which send tingles up your spine and cause your entire body to nod along.
This is what brings me along to Cable Street Studios near Limehouse on a Friday night. It’s a nice, small, intimate venue with a low-key atmosphere. It’s been a few months since I last caught them playing in London and I’m eager to hear the songs from their new(ish) self produced album ‘Contact High Wit Da Demons’.
The Hills Have Riffs solo set has started by the time I arrive so I miss part of it. What I do hear sounds pretty good. There’s plenty of reverb on the guitar, as he sings some haunting lo-fi songs. He also looks like a mountain man who’s just come out of his cabin in order to entertain the crowd.
It’s not long before The Demons take to the stage. Singer/Bassist Richie Troughton is rocking an interesting roll neck sweater/crucifix and black glove ensemble that makes him look like the sort of person you’d cross the street to avoid.
They kick things off with The Recidivist which is a rollicking monster of a song with a huge bass line which dominates the room. I can see everyone in the small room nodding their heads in appreciation and my girlfriend, who hasn’t heard the band before, turns to me smiling, saying “this is really good”, and it is. The drum and bass line anchors the song while the two guitarists riff over the top of it, creating a wall of sound that penetrates my ears.
The highlight of the set is Throne Control which is very sloooooooow and incredibly HEAVY and is stretched out longer than on record. It conjures images of the American West. It slowly builds to a huge juggernaut of a song and has many people headbanging along, albeit at a much slower tempo than one is used to.
The last three songs are new, so new in fact that they still haven’t been named, so I am unfamiliar with them. However they make a good show of the bands talent for writing catchy hooks and big riffs.
The last band I watch are Bad Guys. They came to some attention last year by playing their first gig in a chalet at The Melvins/Mike Patton ATP. It’s reported that it was completely over run by people, including the drummer from Big Business, forcing their way through the window in order to hear them. It was eventually broken up by the Butlins security, but not before they’d done untold damage to the room and the mass of people crowdsurfing in the tiny living room space.
I have to say they are pretty impressive; they have two guitarists, and no bass player. Both guitarists pull clichéd rock poses as they churn out heavy riffs, but it’s all done with tongue firmly planted in cheek. The singer soon joins in with his hoody up and a huge beard growling into the microphone. With the success last year of Fucked Up, who Bad Guys sound similar to, I can definitely see them doing well if they keep on playing like this. Oh yeah, they all end up in just their pants at the end of the gig as well, which is pretty rock n roll.
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