Manchester’s newest doom punk future stars descend on Oxford Street’s iconic 100 club to deliver a blistering set that proves they need to be headlining venues of this size as soon as possible.
Although Witch Fever may not be the main attraction on the evenings billing, with the headline spot coming from punk/ grime/ metal heavyweight duo Bob Vylan, they will have surely made enough fans during their performance to bring them back for plenty more.
It’s a surreal atmosphere that surrounds the gig, with every fan eager to get back to the newly reinstated true gig experience. You can sense the relief and desperation to get back into the pit. The mixture of crusty punks and middle aged men is back in full swing with each complimenting each other’s band t-shirts and many commenting on this being their first proper gig back. The company is great and life feels like it may be heading in the right direction.
Opening the night is tik-tok emo-pop star Zand who ushers in the flocks of early attendees with a mixture of tracks from their Ugly Pop EP and latest single “Slut Money” . Accompanied by a squid-masked DJ, Zand perfectly set the tone for the evenings events; weird and wonderful.
From the moment they step onto the stage, Witch Fever bring about an untamed amount of explosive energy to their performance. As guitarist Alisha Yarwood summons the rest of the band into action with her Sabbath-heavy riffs, the spell of Witch Fever begins to shroud over all who are within its grasp.
Lead singer Amy Walpole marches across the stage and you soon realise that you are witnessing one of the most exciting upcoming live bands in modern punk. They’re not just taking this as a chance to impress, but as a chance to ignite the fires that will surely bring them to stages much greater hopefully very soon.
They blast through a set of old tracks and new, most from upcoming debut EP Reincarnate with particular highlights being the furious “In The Resurrect” with a legion of head-bangers following in its furious rhythm and sharp cutting riffs. And title track “Reincarnate” that although didn’t cause any jaws to be spin-kicked on this occasion, brought about enough energy for everyone to forgot about the horrors of the past 18 months and feel free again.
You can’t help but be in Awe at the level of intensity and the close-knit nature of the band. They dance the dance and crash about the stage, but always landing back down on the same succinct beat. A flurry of furious outbursts and solos comes from drummer Annabelle Joyce, acting as though she’s beat-barer for your final descent into the red land below. And just before the curtain falls on their showcase of sound, Walpole descends into the rafts of attendees, screaming lyrics in the faces of those who dare stand in her way. Finally making her way to the bar where she appears to order herself a beverage before climbing onto it and using it as a makeshift stage. This is what it’s all about.