Industrial music At the fleece
Written By Pete Robson.
Sunday night is bath night in many households, the peak of excitement being a televised costume drama, followed by an early night. But on Sunday the 9th of October The Fleece in Bristol decided that Sunday night would be as good a night as any to host an evening of Industrial music.
The Fleece is located on a cobbled back street in Bristol. It has a striking appearance with colourful band posters decorating the outside of this victorian building. This rock n roll charm is also upheld inside, with a sticky flagstone floor and pillars scattered throughout the main area. As with most small independent venues the walls are washed with black paint making the Fleece feel familiar.
Previously featured electronic rock band 'Psalms' were the first of four bands to perform. The quite murmuring from the modestly sized 'Sunday night' audience were soon silenced by Psalms who took to the stage like greyhounds leaving their traps. They maintained this momentum throughout their set, letting the audience know that any day of the week is a good day to party.
During the cross over between Psalms and 'Tregenza' I was surprised to see 'Tregenza' didn't have guitar or drums. The only instruments used on stage were a bass guitar and synths. The absence of a traditional drum kit was most noticeable during the first song, following Psalms who had such a big sound, ‘Tregenza’ sounded empty. But let's not spend too long comparing these two bands, 'Tregenza' had their own style. Their thirty minute set was dripping in 80s new romantic influences.
Third act 'Drakenwerks' brought even more surprises to the evening. S P Draken stood centre stage growling vocals, while Kelly and Martyn in the shadows provided synthesised accompaniment. This was dance music! Proper night club electronic dance music! I scanned the audience to see if this majority goth crowd approved. The front row of diehard fans had brought glow sticks which they used to emphasise their hand movement when dancing. They loved it.
The headline act for the evening '3Teeth' a four piece band from Los Angeles, who were enjoying their first tour of the UK. The stage was dimly lit with red lights making it difficult to see the band. When in the spot light lead singer Alexis Mincolla’s appearance could be likened to Dr. Eggman (The evil scientist from Sonic the Hedgehog). Real instruments made a welcome return to the stage, which provided a fuller sound and helped to animate every band member. Their songs started quietly, building into a tsunami of sound, with dark and sinister tones.
This was my first experience of Industrial music. Upon arriving I formed preconceptions, I saw a mainly goth audience and assumed this would essentially be an evening of heavy rock infused with electronic music. I was surprised to hear rock, new romantics and dance music all under the same umbrella of ‘Industrial Music’. I’m left wondering if it’s the music that defines this genre, or if it’s the people, their culture and their fashion.