Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs – The Hope & Ruin, Brighton – 23rd November 2018

Photo by Jamie MacMillan

The noise levels surrounding this gig is the only thing that comes close to the volume on the night. Amongst a certain scene, the only question on anyone’s lips is, “Are you going to Pigs?” Over and over. It’s no surprise that a show at The Haunt early next year has already been announced, such is the anticipation tonight.

Opening band Yetti may only play three songs, but the sprawling nature of these epic, bludgeoning instrumental tracks mean that their set is still nearly half an hour long. Completely wordless on stage, atmosphere is key – and what an atmosphere they create. The final track sounds like it could easily hang over a particularly heavy scene from Breaking Bad, a lost-in-the-desert feel setting in as the gargantuan riffs settle over the crowd.

Following them are Girls In Synthesis, who play as if they are electrically charged. A tangible spark of excitement ripples through the stage as the trio play, a spark that becomes a storm as the two guitarists/vocalists, Jim Cubitt and John Linger, set up their mics in the middle of the audience. Breaking down the barrier between band and crowd may not be an original idea, but few channel it in such an incendiary fashion as this – nearly the entire set is delivered with just drummer Nicole Pinto left on stage. It’s something gloriously close to anarchy, the music a cross between The Fall and Crass with a side-helping of Slaves’ drum-heavy sound and Idles’ live madness. Yes, they were as good as that all sounds.

That would have satisfied many as a headline slot, but there was still time for Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs to rattle some eardrums and ribcages. Frontman Matt Baty may look unassuming initially, but he awakens a sound that is by far the loudest band that this reviewer has ever heard. Like the thunder of war, riffs from the kinetic Sam Grant and Adam Sykes roll across the room like a shockwave – everything else is swallowed by their sound, to the point that the only sensible option from the sound engineer is to turn everything else up too. It almost seems churlish to pick out particular highlights, such is the relentless quality exuding from the stage – but at a push the colossal ‘Gnt’ and ‘Thumbsucker’ just take the title, though in truth the entire performance was magnificent. There’s even time for Resident’s very own living legend Barney to join the stage and take over guitar duty, leaving Sykes to flatten the poor drummer (and most of his kit) mid-finale. A suitably chaotic way to end a night of huge scenes.

Jamie MacMillan

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