The Oh Sees
The Luminare, Kilburn
“There’s a shitload of people here,” drawls Thee Oh Sees frontman John Dwyer, addressing said people who are crammed, nose-to-armpit, right up to the edge of the stage. “It’s HOT!” That, Mr Dwyer, is the understatement of the decade. It’s the kind of hot where you can feel the rivulets of sweat streaming down your skin and, under the circumstances, hope to Buddha that the sweat in question is your own. The band launch head-on into a set of fuzz-infused garage, laced with psychedelic guitar riffage, and bristling with clear, focused energy – and they are relentless about it. The gig is a marathon of sweltering, squelching punk tracks, many from recent album ‘Help’, complete with impromptu drawn-out, bluesy endings that drummer Mike Shoun bravely bashes his way through, even as the other Oh Sees are tacking on a few more reverb-heavy phrases, just to see if he can make it. “You guys getting tired?” asks the drenched Dwyer, before throttling his guitar through thirteen-minute track ‘Warm Slime’, holding his mic up to the amp and grooving off the delirious shrieks of feedback. Between the heat and the unrestrained intensity on stage, tonight feels like the end of the world – and what a way to go.
By Polly Rappaport
Originally published in issue 18 (vol 3) of Loud And Quiet. June 2010