Last Friday we at long last got to attend our first gig in over 15 months! Before the last gig I went to I told someone I was going to review more, if not all of the gigs I went to, but then the whole industry shut down, so that didn’t happen… Despite everything else I had planned getting pushed back by a few weeks, last week we were lucky enough to attend this sold-out, socially distanced gig at The Joiners, Southampton. We primarily went to the gig to see Web but we also caught a good chunk of Speaking of Witches set too, a band who were new to us.
“Has anyone scored yet? If anyone scores, please cheer”. Web’s set coincided with England/Scotland game that was happening and was also being shown at one side of the stage at the same time as the gig was happening.
I think I’ve said this before, but I don’t think I’ve ever seen Web do the same set twice. The same “songs” perhaps, but whether it be a deja vu-esque set where every track is called ‘Wednesday Night’ or a set that includes 20 minutes of improvisation around one riff before anything else, you never quite know what you’re going to get. But of course I mean this in the best way possible. They’re unpredictable and it’s one of the many reasons why Web are one of, if not the most exciting, forward-thinking Portsmouth band at the moment.
For those who aren’t already familiar with Web, their live set is the most intense you will find ranging from dread-inducing industrial parts filled with brisk, brutal riffs and urgency, to dark, ominous moments. In one word, I’d probably describe it as cathartic. They’re commanding enough to have you hooked before you even realise it anyway.
One thing that is noticeable is that this time the set is structured into actual individual tracks rather than seamlessly shifting from one track to the next. The last track is a new one, it’s more of a chilling slow-burner in comparison to the rest of their repertoire, at least to start with anyway. I’m certain you could’ve heard a pin drop in between the more sparse parts of the track.
To quote someone who messaged me after the gig, they said Web’s set was “truly one of the best sets I’ll ever see from this scene” and it’d be hard to disagree.
Also playing on the night was Southampton based grunge-rock trio Speaking of Witches. The band played a set that mostly consisted of tracks from their debut album ‘Luna Cycles‘ that was released last year. Their live set is filled with energetic, riff-filled tracks that are sometimes psych-tinged, definitely grunge-y and occasionally hypnotic from start to finish. Suitably catchy too, I had one of their tracks stuck in my head on the way home. Speaking of Witches live set was streamed on the night and is still available to watch here.
Although this was the first of hopefully many gigs I’ll go to this year, I’m sure this one remain one of the top gigs of 2021. I’d also like to commend Joiners for how organised were for a seated gig and how uncomplicated things seemed to be that it almost didn’t seem strange. Also for accommodating me as a photographer because they needn’t have due to social distancing (they even gave me a seat!). I would highly recommend the venue if anyone is still unsure about socially distanced gigs anyway! A top night all round.