So it emerged recently that musician Colm Ó Cíosóig (of My Bloody Valentine fame), has made a point in an open letter to give the verdict that live performances aren’t loud enough anymore. The news has been circulating on the web recently, and people have mixed opinions on it.
My Bloody Valentine have a reputation as one of the loudest live bands in the world, so it’s not surprising to (pardon the pun) hear this. In the past, fans who’ve been to the Shoegaze pioneer’s live shows have reported everything from perforated eardrums, to vomiting, to extreme migraines.
So, here’s the question. What’s the most raucous, demonstrably, deafeningly loud gig you’ve ever attended? How did it feel? What track stood out in the set? Here’s two that scarred me for life, and would totally go again…
November 2015. I was in Prestatyn, in rainy North Wales, for ATP Festival. Lightning Bolt’s gargantuan noise was totally deafening in the old turbine hall, and the strobes were making the two-piece look like an animation in a horror film. As soon as they played this track, it hit us all like a ton of bricks. There was a woman with a pram at the very back, and the baby had these huge ear defenders on. The baby looked pretty happy, to be honest. Who knew toddlers were into heavy electronic noise rock?
August 2015. Ireland’s noisiest avant post-punk quartet were playing the Lexington on Pentonville Road in London. One of my all-time favourite venues, but a bit small. Being two flight’s up, you could feel the weight of crowd on the floor as this song burst it’s seams at the 4:06 mark… this one’s a cover of a Blawan track, but with more menace and aggression than anything else I’ve ever seen live.
People were smashing bottles on the walls, drinks drenched the crowd, and everyone got tinnitus. It was terrifying and exhilarating all at once.
So, which bands have hurt your ears? Bring the noise, people.