Concert Reviews: UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS at Rockefeller Music Hall (Oslo, Norway)

UNCLE ACID & THE DEADBEATS at Rockefeller Music Hall (Oslo, Norway)

Opening Act: L.A. WITCH

Tuesday, November 20, 2018

by Jorge Patacas


Seven years have passed since I discovered the British band Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats with their second album “Blood Lust”, released via Rise Above Records, owned by Lee Dorrian (Cathedral, ex Napalm Death), as well as the rest of their five-album discography. It’s shocking to see the amount of bands that have emerged in this decade playing Occult Rock in the style of the late 60’s and 70’s bands, each of them taking that sound to the current era and adding its own identity, that’s how we can clearly differentiate one from the other. The most obvious example is the successful Swedish band Ghost, but bands like Kadavar, Jex Thoth, Lucifer, Royal Thunder, Windhand or Witch Mountain are other exponents who have been inspired depending on the case in Psychedelic Rock, Progressive, Blues and most notably in the eternal Black Sabbath riffs. Even pioneers of Occult Rock like Coven, formed in the second half of the 60’s, with their legendary vocalist Jinx Dawson as frontwoman, have played again and even released new material on the current decade. This movement has brought excellent bands, the aforementioned are just some ofthem, but one that has caught my attention since the first time I’ve heard of them was Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats. These guys from Cambridge who just released their fifth album “Wasteland”, have a very unique sound where psychedelia mixes with the doom riffs from Sabbath school and even with Stoner passages. They’re also inspired by the same period when it comes to the visuals, not only on their musicians aesthetics, but also in their music videos, posters and merchandising. It’s a band that in some way captures the mysticism that surrounded many groups of the time and bring it to this digital era, and that draws the attention of those who in part miss that musical period. Fate has led me to be residing in the Scandinavian region today, specifically in Norway, where the Uncle Acid & The Deadbeats would be present, being the first time that I personally was able to see their show.

Outside the temperature was below zero despite being autumn in the Nordic country, but once inside the climate changed radically.
We are talking about the Rockefeller Music Hall, one of the most popular in Norway in terms of gigs, which capacity for 1350 people.
As its name suggests, L.A. Witch, comes from Los Angeles, California, and they were the band who was responsible for opening the night. It’s a female trio formed in 2011 with a sound that captures and transports the listeners to analogical periods, where garage rock and indie are clearly present with a hint of psychedelia around each of the compositions. The trio formed by Sade Sanchez on guitar and vocals, Irita Pai on bass and Ellie English on drums, released their self-titled debut album in 2017 and this tour is exposing them to new audiences. We’ll see what will be the result of this great opportunity for them.

After half an hour of waiting which included very good background music (Cathedral’s anthem, “Hopkins (The Witchfinder General)”!), it was the turn of the main band of the night. The Uncle Acid took the stage to unleash their full potential with “I See Through You” in front of an audience that got more euphoric as the tracks kept going, mainly in those that could already be considered as “classic” in terms of the band’s set, and I mean gems like “Mind Crawler”, “Death’s Door” or “Pusher Man”, that sounded even better live than in the studio. Yes, we’re talking about these kind of bands that give their best during their performance and they do it even better than in the studio. The interaction with the crowd was almost limited to the introduction of each song, but the music spoke for itself, while all kinds of psychedelic images were projected on a large screen placed behind and above the drummer Jon Rice (Scorpion Child / ex Job For a Cowboy), who joined the band in 2017 and did an amazing job behind the drum kit.

Although the guitarist and supporting vocalist Vaughn Stokes joined in 2015, it really looks like he would have been from the beginning back in 2009 along with lead vocalist and guitarist, Kevin R. Starrs, better known as Uncle Acid. The dynamics and the vocal harmonies between the two is simply perfect, and this in addition to the very good work on the bass by Justin Smith (who often reminds me to the legendary Geezer Butler with his movements on stage) and the aforementioned Jon Rice, make their live show a solid one, convicing a crowd that by the end of the encores consisting of “Melody Lane”, “Evil Love” and “No Return”, was more than satisfied. One Tuesday night to remember!



01- I See Through You
02- Waiting For Blood
03- Mt. Abraxas
04- Mind Crawler
05- Death’s Door
06- Shockwave City
07- Crystal Spiders
08- Dead Eyes of London
09- Pusher Man
10- I’ll Cut You Down
11- Blood Runner
12- 13 Candles

13- Melody Lane
14- Evil Love
15- No Return



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