Sewage Farm, Locean and Ark at Night & Day

Sewage Farm, Locean and Ark at Night & Day

From prog to experimental to post-rock, a wide range of musical genres greets our reviewer at Night & Day Cafe...

Words and photos: Anthony Firmin

Even though I didn’t know any of their songs I was very impressed by Ark a couple of weeks ago at SONDER Festival so it was a pleasure to see them again opening the evening at a sadly very empty Night & Day, not something any band wants to encounter.  Right from the start with Out Of Sight this small crowd is witnessing a band determined to make an impression with their proggy tinged songs.  Tonight they are on a much larger stage and are able to utilise the space to be more dynamic which is also helping their performance.  Synchronised is performed with more gusto and likewise Behind Closed Eyes has an overall heavier groove to it, the sound system here working to the band’s advantage in projecting their music well.  The final song, Last Resort, starts out with a funky beginning and ends with some serious doom laden riffage – fine way to end their sadly too short set.

Next up are Locean.  Where do I start?  They are a huge throwback to the experimental, avant-garde, underground scene of New York in the late 70’s/early 80’s where every performance is likely to be unique.  It would be easy for the casual observer to simply describe them as a cacophony of noises but I am finding them fascinating and intriguing in equal measures with their improvisational technique embracing pop, poetry, noises and chaos.   Singer Lauren Bolger, resplendent in a crass white Christmas cardigan, spends most of the time out in the audience either engaging with them or writhing around on the floor.  Tonight the band includes two bass players as well as a guitarist and someone mixing cassette tapes – and this is drummer Luca’s last gig with the band as he is moving to Portugal.  The one “song” they play is both mesmerising and anarchic.

Sewage Farm seem relatively safe and tame after Locean.  The band consists of guitarist Sam Forrest (previously with Nine Black Alps) as well as Danny Barton (bass) and Danny Hirst (drums) who provide a very solid and tight rhythm section, the bass really driving the songs at times.  And those songs are short, sweet, catchy with good melodies, harmonies and a Manc feel, and they give a strong nod to The Beatles in many places although the music became heavier as the set progressed.  A late start meant I only managed to catch four songs as I had to head to public transport but they are definitely worthy of seeing again.

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