The Wytches' Live Return Offers A Chink Of Light In The Darkness
As far as present day life is concerned, the concept of a real life live gig is one that's hard to wrap your head around. So many sectors of the music industry have been affected by the global pandemic, but none quite as bad as the live sector. Gigs went from being a weekly (or daily) staple in our lives, to a distant reality whose return was steeped in uncertainty. The question bodes, would we ever experience live music in the same way we did before all of this?
Since live events have been able to return, the sparse number of venues that are able to facilitate shows without economic decimation have had to adapt to the “new normal”. This, for the most part, has meant significantly reduced capacity and no standing, tepid gigs that feel more like open-mics. However, Signature Brew in Walthamstow are one of the few venues that are able to put on gigs anywhere near as close to how we knew them, and misfit mob The Wytches graced the brewery-cum-venue with two back-to-back sold-out shows in celebration of their upcoming third record ‘Three Mile Ditch’.
Yes, there are rules in place upon arrival which security politely run you through before entry, which sounds tedious, but in fact provides reassurance, a sense of security and safe respite from the anxiety fuelled outside world that feels like it's literally on fire.
As the band prepare to go on stage the room falls eerily silent. This will be the first gig in over six months for the majority of attendees, and the anticipation in the air is nothing short of electric. Swiftly disrupting the silence with their jarring sludges of grunge punk, The Wytches’ harrowing riffs and bluesy grooves slice the thick atmosphere with ease, a purging of pent up emotion and energy, finally gracing the world with new music once again.
Already a band with a bewitching stage presence, and knack for creating unsettling yet cinematic grunge marvels, their set feels like a performance in every sense of the word; that you are watching something truly special because everyone in the room wants to be there, had longed to be there. There’s not a phone or camera flash in sight, just music lovers completely and utterly enthralled.
When live music is part of your everyday life, it becomes as second nature as breathing. The Wytches prove with their set tonight the cruciality of live music. Though it may look different to how we once knew it, one thing remains true throughout all of this: there’s no feeling that comes close to the visceral energy felt at a gig, where the energy from a band permeates your being with an almost tangible quality.
We can only hope for more shows like this.
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The Wytches will release new album 'Three Mile Ditch' on October 30th.
Words: Jasleen Dhindsa
Photo Credit: Rachel Lipsitz
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