There’s a well used, age old phrase that goes something along the lines of “hard work pays off” and Far Out’s jaunt down to a brimming Brudenell Social Club in Leeds on Thursday evening not only paid testament to the antique proverb but proved yet again that, for talented bands harbouring sufficient verve and desire, the phrase will never become a worn out cliché.
See, It wasn’t too long ago that Autobahn were plying their dystopian trade to few faces; the occasion for the band’s first EP release at Leeds’ mecca for modern music in November was, despite ‘Seizure’s’ ferocious potential and the band’s naughty live offerings, very much unremarkable if we are to use the size of a crowd as a gauge. Fast forward seven months and it becomes clear just how much things have changed.
After touring the length and breadth of the country (sometimes playing consecutive gigs in the same night), notching a barrow full of gigs with, arguably the most sought after band in the UK, Eagulls, smashing their way through several festivals and donning the pages of some of the most acclaimed publications the world over (after Far Out Magazine, of course) Autobahn, shrouded in post-punk acrimony and armed with an excellent new EP have, deservedly, captured the hearts, minds and, maybe most importantly, the attention of many music fans… they’ve arrived.
Liberated from the earlier days of playing to just a handful of mid-week opportunists and a concentrated crowd of loyal followers (including the Eagulls lads), as the first pound of the drum skin came crashing off the stage it was met by a near full capacity, mixed bag hall of raucous attendees. Young head bangers and exuberant middle aged alike, seemingly feeding off yesteryears spirit of 1977 and beyond, joined forces to revel in the exceptional malevolence the five piece effortlessly purvey.
New tunes like ‘Pale Skin’ turned the faces of the crowd anything but as frontman Craig Johnson reeled off prose in a salvo of plangent tones and sinister shrieks whilst the band duly delivered their trademark cacophonous delights, wailing banshee riffs and all, with aplomb.
Somewhere amidst the remainder of latest EP ‘2’ thundering out it became clear that Autobahn, still very much in the preliminary stages of their sojourn, have the potential to go a very long way and wouldn’t it be great if they did? Surely I’m not alone in thinking that the more alternative, punk natured fireworks we can stick up the jacksie of the status quo the better!
More than playing their part in a terrific do was the support that, I’m sure we’ve all experienced at one point or another isn’t always the case. On the night, though, The Wub, Mush and my personal favourites, FEHM contributed deftly by brewing the perfect storm:
Mush, an apt name for this lot, set about their business in eclectic fashion; in part psyche, in others heavier rock whilst boasting fragments of a thousand other genres. In tunes like ‘Execution’ and ‘Devils Constitution’ hopefully you can see why the group, still in its infancy, were a prime cog in the night’s proceedings.
FEHM, well, what can I say? They, like an intoxicating elixir after a shit day, went down an absolute fuckin’ treat! Frontman Paul Riddle (a perfect surname for the gothic menace emitted in their set) and his troupe offered the most fitting prelude; with Riddle, wielding the mic rather than holding it, pacing the stage like a man possessed occasionally returning to a solitary synth to spew out sounds I can only liken to Transylvanian myth. Baring that in mind, I wouldn’t be surprised at all if FEHM draw a lot of influence from ‘Bela Lugosi’s Dead’ architects Bauhaus.
Needless to say, we’ll be seeing a lot more them. In fact, I’m sure we’ll be seeing a lot more of them all.