Somewhere amongst all the distortion and feedback an incredible gig happened. From the second Ty Segall and his band plugged in, their guitars rang with a dizzying fuzz. The prolific San Francisco musician somehow found time to release three albums in 2012, and he arrives in London on the first night of his European tour, presumably, in support of his latest album Twins. But it has been only 16 months since the release of his 2011 album Goodbye Bread. He is still within the acceptable time frame to be touring that album, but that’s not the way he does things, instead returning with a wealth of new material as he plays the most aptly named venue that he could be.

He casually addresses the crowd saying his thank you’s at the top, before replicating the 1,2 opening of “Thank God for Sinners” and “You’re the Doctor” from Twins. Guitarist Charlie Moothart doesn’t harmonise guitar solos with Segall like on the album version, he continues to provide the thick warbling riff as Segall plays his solo to his speakers, moving back and forth to melt the wailing melody. The racing guitar opening and infectious chorus of “You’re the Doctor” sends the crowd into a mess of dancing, jumping and pushing that doesn’t stop all night. They are even too busy having fun to properly catch several stage divers, who the lone security guard only halfheartedly tries to stop.

Segall stands stage right despite the band bearing his name. He is still touring with the same band he recorded Slaughterhouse with, and they repeatedly delve into it’s sludgy distortion sodden material. “Death”’s aggressive momentum and harsh vocal harmonies are shredded into by Segall’s tortured scream, and the slow intro of “Tell Me What’s Inside Your Heart” is no indication to the break neck snappy guitar rocker that it becomes.

Segall wildly throws songs into his set from all over his extensive discography. The bare opening of “Finger” from Melted is one of the night’s rare moments where Segall actually seems like a solo act rather than a shit hot live unit. The songs quiet build causes the riff to hit like a sledgehammer, and the second run through of the chorus isn’t as quiet. “Girlfriend” is a crowd-pleaser, with giant danceable drums from Emily Rose Epstein and a screamed chorus hook from Segall. An anthem like version of “Caesar” ends with a strangled guitar solo in place of the albums tinkling piano. The live debut of Twins cut “Would You Be My Love” is a highlight that sees Segall actually singing the sweet fuzzy love song. He also demonstrates his sinister falsetto on “Handglams”, which ends in a wave of frenetic squealing guitar. The only detractor of the set-list is the lack of songs from Segall first album of the year Hair; his collaboration with White Fence. But it makes sense to avoid the album in Tim Presley’s absence, and Segall’s plethora of other excellent songs more than make up for it.

Mikal Cronin starts the bass opening of the too-perfectly-named-to-not-be-the-main-set-closer: “Wave Goodbye”, in which loud guitar strikes crush the rhythm section and Segall’s maniacal screams shred his throat. As he passes his microphone stand out into the crowd, it is returned in two pieces. It’s hastily reassembled before he unleashes an encore of “Standing at the Station”, the crowd continuing to match the band’s energy in the melting venue. It’s a joy to see Segall violently ripping into his excellent songs, from the fun sugary fuzz pop of Melted and Twins, to the dark maddening freakouts of Slaughterhouse. The messy ravaged songs fly by, and by the time he comes back, he’ll probably have a whole new album to tear through.

5/5

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