Hello Bastards // Mad Ferret

The unassuming would see the Mad Ferret bar in Preston as a mere student haunt given its position nestled amongst the University’s campus. When the Hello Bastards night rolls in to the space, anyone, be they revision dodgers or not, cram in to check the promised radar botherers.

The night begins unassuming enough, with the ambient guitarist Niamh Starky, whose array of peddles and accompanying drummer spoke little but communicated much through a charming and interesting collection of instrumental numbers helped by sparks of samples and looped melodies. Nerves dug in a little too deep, but the quiet girl with big ideas strode nevertheless, check out her “Early Gentle” song for a good indication of her abilities.

Keeping things quiet and simple was not an option for long, given how little breathing space was left now the place was filling up. Caught between the bar and an unfamiliar face was the viewing position for the ultimately compelling and ear-splitting The Sefton Delmer, a colossal force of guitars turned up for the effect of all six Marshall amps stacked behind them. In common with their World War namesake, the message was prominent and encoded, in their modern way behind a flux of feedback and looped vocals. Their lead’s concerted effort to always look perplexed worked in his favour, the downbeat collection of songs pushed back the boundaries of just about every measurement, by virtue of their sheer force and velocity.

Sure, it was impossible to hear quite anything else properly beyond the echo of melodic creation, and their soundcheck alone would have knocked the glasses off someone walking past the next street, but in the spirit of the wartime icon who inspired their name, this was as brave and effective an assault as possible.

Crazy808 are the local lads doing their best for cross-genre harmony, employing rock types and a laptop DJ to work their merry way through excellent BSS-type punk-punches to the deeper soul, whispers of deeper flowing waters in extended instrumentals suggestive of more than the oft-repeated and many times failed groupings of the guitar and computer.

The long night was topped off by the expansive shoegaze heroics of Telekinetic Fortunato, whose ambitious post-rock builds on the obvious influences with a heap of characteristic ingredients – their manic melodies seem constantly changing, animated almost, their beats fluid under the growing guitars. For a night in what could be seen from the outside as a fringe bar on the outskirts of town, the immensely interesting and varied sets promise a mad sackfull yet to come.

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