Saturday, 4 December 2021


Concorde 2, Brighton, Sat 27th Nov

Pigs x7 (an officially approved abbreviation) are a metal/psych rock band from Newcastle. Contents are: a guitarist who seems to have stepped straight from Steppenwolf circa 1972; a singer who cheerfully if a little self-depreciatingly describes himself as “a pound-shop Freddie Mercury”, whose highly theatrical and equally eccentric stage moves often look like his morning exercises; and three other more anonymous members. (Shouldn’t that make them Pigs x5?)

It starts ably enough, with a strong rhythm section laying down some thumping riffs. Though the singer has a more declamatory bellow than Ozzy’s wails, there’s a strong Black Sabbath influence, which is often a healthy sign. It’s good. Just not great.

Then a few numbers in they start up a much more meditative beat, over which the guitarists lays sharp bursts of sonic scrawl, like graffiti on a wall. Then from there things go… well into *more* of a Sabbath direction. With Ozzy and his associates, it would be hard to miss those riffs. But equally important was their sense of dynamics. Tracks would take changes in direction which seemed unguessable in advance, yet perfectly natural as soon as they were on them. 

Pigs can at times achieve similar dynamics, but with added free-from elements. They’re kind of post-Sabbath, in the way people talk about ‘post rock’. But it’s only at times. The singer abandoning his keep-fit and shifting side-stage to take up the electronics becomes a sign that’s what’s coming up will be something good.

A reliable source of gossip states: “Earlier releases tended toward longer, drawn out tracks while the more recent releases… are predominantly shorter works.” And somewhat limited on-line listening seems to bear this out. So my hypothesis is that the band were originally like free-flowing lava, which over timed ossified into something more fixed and regular. And the tracks that stand out in their set-list are now the oldies. I’d tried to see them a few times before, but life has a habit of intervening. It may be that those were the days were Pigs were flying, and I was simply not there to see.

Could we start an on-line debate over the best way to pronounce their name? I think I favour “Piiiiiigs!!! Pigspigspigspigspigspiiiiigs!!!” You?

From Sunderland, for those of you watching in black and white. Nearly two years ago, before the singer got that Freddie tash.  (Yeah, two years ago. You lot know there was a bit of an impasse as to gig-going, right?)

No comments:

Post a Comment