Wargasm (UK) // Ailsha // The Venom Tour // Live Review // The Ulster Sports Club // Belfast
The Gasm are back! The last time we caught these crazy motherfuckers was inThe Oh Yeah Centre in Belfast making their Northern Irish debut, and that feels like an absolute age now, we have of course caught them live on their devastating UK tour. Hence, we are well overdue a reacquaintance with the only Wargasm (UK).
I have to admit I didn’t even know they were in the city till this morning and my phone went with a war cry fromMr Adam Breezehimself asking if I was coming down, hell yeah I am! And so it is, this is the way.
An early start for us all with a 7:30 pm kick-off for tonight’s support Ailsha, self-described Irish Princess Of Misfits, with a hefty sound, electronic undertones and a highly melodic quality Ailsha gets stuck right in with a short but sweet set, blowing the cobwebs off the Ulster Sports Hall audience with a gnarly set of fast-paced succinct tracks that keeps everyone on their toes. My first time catching Ailsha in the flesh and my second Dublin-based artist I have encountered for the first time with Meryl Streek supporting Bob Vylan on Wednesday night at The Limelight. Inhaler invaded The Ulster Hall last night there seems to be an Irish invasion going on, someone better call the DUP to stop it ta fuck! Wait nobody is answering the phone what a surprise!
Alisha’s set has gone down a treat, a small compact venue like this can be unforgiving for the new blood, but she’s held her own and made her mark on her Belfast debut, so fair play sister. 1-0 to Alisha!
8:30 arrives and the time has come for Wargasm’s return to a Belfast stage.
So let me set the scene, The Ulster Sports Club is a compact venue in the heart of Belfast city centre, parking is a nightmare on a Friday night, its right beside The Cathedral Quarter in Belfast, the most vibrant area of the city, packed with bars, music venues and hotels, and those who are working in the city centre are likely to hang around for a post-work drink on a Friday night meaning Belfast is heaving! The venue itself is right on High Street and as I entered the room initially there was a healthy crowd, and whilst Ailsha had done her thing there was still a little space to navigate through the crowd to try to snap a few photos, but as 8:30 came around and ‘The Gasm’ hit the stage it became a little claustrophobic! When the music kicked in shizzle kicked off! So at this point, I had to make a call and try to push my way through gig-paying, gig-goers and ruin their enjoyment of take a step back and enjoy the show, so I took the latter choice, the venue is just not set up for a tog to operate in it sadly, no pit, no space to work without pissing off those who are here to enjoy the band and one thing became painfully obvious throughout the night, these guys and doll, are built for the bigger stage!
Wargasm are one of the best live acts I’ve seen in quite a while, speaking with Adam after commented on having a few in-ear issues with the sound, it wasn’t apparent at all, the band just hit that stage like their lives depended on it and delivered a blistering set that took the breath away! The chemistry between band members is something to behold, especially the front two Sam Matlock & Milkie Way, their live energy and connection with the crowd feeds this crazy electric energy that the crowd just takes and gives back ten-fold. It was an unbelievable performance by all, Adam Breeze on the drums, Edison Hunter on guitar laying some serious filthy riffage and Adam Crilly on Electronic’s, samples and vocals these guys as a live entity are phenomenal!
I was listening to their new album Venom earlier in the day to familiarise myself with their new material, and its not for the faint of heart, it’s a tough one to digest if you are not familiar with their brand of music, it can be quite jarring at times and cutting but i the live setting, Jesus H Christ it is a thing of beauty! It just comes to life, and the room was on fire! The venue, I don’t think they Knew what hit them, security were freaking out at those who were moshing, and like MOSHING, they actually started throwing people out who were having too much fun, hence why next time these lunatics come back to Belfast they need to hit another venue, one capable and used to such gigs and their intensity.
I just stood at the back of the room by the door and the merch girl rocker her wee heart out to every track, Sam delivered killer guttural vocals, Milkie the same, wailing screams and spitfire vocals chopping and changing from concentrating on her vocal duties to grabbing a bass 3 times the size of her tiny frame, slapping out nuance basslines that filled the spaces created by Adam’s complex and intricate drumwork, the crashing guitar riffs and electronica filling the room so much that those down below in the general bar must have thought it was the 1940’s and the Luftwaftae were back over Belfast! I just stood there in Awe, mind-blown at the wall of noise coming out at me and the poise and composure whilst selling being mental, that Wargasm display it’s just so fucking cool to see. A band that delivers time and time again, in the most ostentatious way, if you wanna catc a gig this year that will simpl restore your faith in humanity, in the live music scene and more importantly the UK and Norn’ Iron’s contribution to the music scene in 2023, then do yourself a favour and grab yourself a ticket to this tour. You can thank me later.