Black Doldrums, Crofters Rights, Bristol

26th October 2017 (supporting 10000 Russos)

I have only had the opportunity to see Black Doldrums once before after which I was told – by no less than the drummer of the band, to forget what I’d seen as the sound was poor and not representative of the band and what they can do. So, my Black Doldrums journey starts again, at the Crofters Rights, as the band start a string of dates with Fuzz Club psych legends 10000 Russos. I’ve been stuck in traffic for hours, 10000 Russos have been running late as they travel from Scandinavia, but Black Doldrums – Sophia La Croix on drums and backing vocals and Kevin Gibbard on guitars and vocals -  remain cool and calm and finally start their set with ‘Dreamcatcher’ which demonstrates nicely what they’re all about; over 10 minutes of deep, thumping, almost  tribal drumming coupled with a guitar sound quaking with reverb and delay and echoing vocals slightly submerged in the mix … it’s a  spacious sound that takes you through vast expanses of fuzzed up space and distorted psychedelia.

‘Those With a Rope Around Their Neck Don’t Always Hang’, new and as yet unreleased, (EY! filmed clip from the gig below) has a wasted lysergic edge to the primitive, swampy and almost gothic feel.  Psychedelic maybe, but dense, death black and intense at the same time. If this is the direction the band is moving in I’m definitely along for the ride!

The set features some of their more familiar material, ‘City Lights’ and ‘Exit City Lights’ which merge into a bit of an epic and ‘Sidewinder’ , a single release from 2016 which adds dusty mutant blues to  the furious drumming and howling psych chaos and like their sound in general  can transport you through time.. Another new song ‘There Is No Eye’ is a fuzzed-up, wide- open soundscape of murderous tripped out guitars with a dark and hazy feel. They close with a relentless, rocking ‘It’s A Dandy Massacre’; waves of guitar creating a wall of shimmering warped psych.

For a two-piece band they make an immense noise, multi layered and textured guitars with rock solid backing. They will be picking up lots of new converts while touring with 10000 Russos and have their next album recorded and due for release on Wrong Way Records next year.  This will herald the arrival of Black Doldrums, 2018 will be their year…

‘You got nowhere to hide, you got nowhere to run..’.

To finish off a fantastic night – well done to MLUTV – we had 10000 Russos, who delivered an ear shredding aural attack on the, sadly quite small, audience… c ’mon Bristol, what’s wrong with you? Two bands this good deserve packed rooms wherever they play!

The 10000 Russos sound is incredible; intense and relentless but somehow quite beautiful. Enjoy Yourself! are looking forward to providing lights for them at their upcoming Portsmouth show and we will review that one in detail. Stay tuned or better still, see you there!

Gary Powell

Writes, films and explores the psychedelic jungle for EY!