Monday, 19 September 2016

Gig Report: Beehoover @ Chunk, Leeds

or "Dad goes to a noisy metal gig"

Beehoover, a 2 piece German rock outfit, are one of my favourite bands at the moment with powerful riffs, great drumming, intelligent and surreal lyrics. As soon as I saw they were on a 10 day UK tour including Leeds I booked my ticket (only a fiver!) without a moment wasted. I knew Ben would be up for it as he shares an eclectic musical taste although his headbanging was restricted by virtue of a neck brace from a cycling accident.

Chunk is a fairly new Leeds music venue (by the sounds of it) with a DIY collective ethic. Sitting in an unassuming building next to a petrol station on Meanwood Road the room for the gig was fairly small. A slow cooker full of chilli and some not expensive tins of beer in the mini fridge in the corner reinforced the DIY side of things. Everyone was very friendly and there was a good atmosphere.


First band on were Bronzed, noisy, pretty tight, enthusiastic, shouty and with a drummer who gave it his all. A short set but one which you needed to draw breath after.

Girl Sweat

Next, after much setting up, plugging in and turning knobs was Girl Sweat. Very chaotic, a bit too loud (muchos compression) and powered by Buckfast tonic wine. A slow build up with densely layered sounds reaching a quite cacophonous peak. Will check out some of his other stuff but I would very much like to control the volume! 

Got chatting to a guy outside the venue, Chris, who put us on to a band called Bilge Pump, another noisy Leeds outfit who I'm going to have to check out. He also mentioned a singer called Karen Dalton who has also gone on the list. There was some quality Stoner Rock being played between the acts on tonight.


Starting off sounding almost slightly discordant, Unwave quickly turned out to be really good with the lead guitarist rocking a 12 string for the entire set. Not sure who they reminded me of but a really good set.

Main event time.


Charging straight out of the blocks with the first track from their latest album Primitive Powers everyone was getting into the swing of things quickly. Thankfully, they played my favourite track "Stanislav Petrov" (after the Russian military officer who thoughtfully avoided all out nuclear war) and I may have danced quite a lot, looking like some loony dad who's got a pass out for the night. "Embers" from the new album was another highlight, it's soft intro putting you 

For a two piece band (bass/vocals, drums) they produce a veritable wall of sound. Ingmar rocks forwards (don't cockle! I can hear my mum saying) on his beer crate seat, throwing his arms at the FX pedals and Claus' arms seem to move in a blur around the drums.

It was a (too) short a set, I'd have loved for them to play for twice as long. I really need to go to more gigs, and will keep an ear out for what's happening at Chunk.

We chatted to Ingmar and Claus afterwards, they were both really cool guys. Claus spent a year at Huddersfield uni on the Mech Eng course whilst I was studying electronics there. I talked to Ingmar about why he wrote lyrics in English rather than German - "I think I'd piss myself if I read some of the lyrics in German!". Beehoover is a "hobby band" according to Ingmar, they both have full time jobs and live in different parts of Germany meeting in the studio for occasional rehearsals and communicating over the internet with ideas flying backwards and forwards. "It wouldn't be as true if it was full time, there would be too much pressure to perform" he said. I'm glad they have that artistic integrity, especially if they keep turning out such great music.

Tired and on a schoolnight, I took my leave from them and, with ringing ears and a sore back from too much grade 2 Dad-headbanging, I wound my way home through country lanes with their latest album on the car stereo.


Further Listening

Heavy Zooo - includes Stanislav Petrov

Primitive Powers - the new album, really good

All their stuff is available on Bandcamp

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