by Chris Hatch
When Crushed Beaks took to the stage at the Castle Hotel this Thursday they did so to little fanfare. The London-based band released their glorious second album, The Other Room, earlier this year – an album that was met with critical acclaim and landed them a support slot with Ride after catching the ear of guitarist and ex-Oasis man, Andy Bell.
Launching into a blistering set that saw them take from their latest album and 2014’s Scatter, the trio possess a live sound that it is far more gigantic than it has any right to be. The monolithic, psychy, krautrock of Right Machine and Ad Nauseum made perfect counterpoints to their spikier, punkier cousins – namely Honesty Box and Overgrown. Any fears that the sonic wall of their album recordings would get lost in their relatively small live set-up were quashed time and time again – Matt Poille’s brilliantly versatile guitar work backed up by a tighter than tight rhythm section that punched home song after song.
The frontman’s onstage delivery was largely banter-free – and understandably so, as Crushed Beaks music alone was enough to whip the modest crowd into a frenzy. Those in attendance left with no doubt that Crushed Beaks are a band who are more than ready for the bigger stages, and although bassist, Scott Bowley’s set-ending stage dive was largely tongue-in-cheek, it weirdly didn’t feel too out of place, and somehow seemed to capture the surreally-joyful, hedonistic atmosphere in the room. It’s hard to pinpoint exactly what Crushed Beaks have, but it’s certainly something special. And it’s certainly something well worth catching the next time they roll into town.