Evil Blizzard/Ruts DC – Preston, 53 Degrees – 16 December 2017 Print E-mail
Written by DJ Astrocreep   
Saturday, 06 January 2018 04:00

Evil Blizzard Preston posterOn many occasions, I have attempted to describe Evil Blizzard to people. I think the most succinctly I have ever put it is that they sound like Hawkwind took a really bad acid trip and tried to write some punk songs, whilst they look like a cross between Slipknot and Led Zeppelin. With masks - some more lifelike than others - they are very much a reminiscent look at a dystopian psychedelic landscape, with some added post-punk feel at times - helped by the 4 basses, drums and a theremin in a baby's doll head. A rare trip up to Preston sees me take in the Evil Blizzard 'Blizzmas Ball' for the first time, along with joint headliners Ruts DC and up and coming local band Ludovico.


On come Ludovico with the swagger of a young Gallagher brothers, with lead vocalist Sam snarling down the microphone at the start, “Check us out on Facebook if you like us. If you don't, fuck off”. Despite the attitude, their young age does show in that, while not awful, there is no stage presence, which no amount of bluster can hide. There is a very mod feel to their music - helped by covers of ‘Tin Soldier’ and others from The Beatles and similar. The audio mix is not quite right for them, which doesn't help them with this, as the sound is too bass heavy for what they're playing. They're a band that does seem to have some potential, but it does feel like their set drags on and the diminishing crowd attention is a testament to this. You can't help but feel that they will become better than they currently are, but this is going to take a lot of hard work - with some attention possibly to the dead air time between songs. Still, they should have plenty of time to do so.


During the break before Ruts DC, I chat with a few people around me. The crowd is quite varied, from rather mainstream, older looking people, through goth and punk sub-genres and more, which is actually quite pleasing to see, as everyone mixes well. The room is building up quite nicely now as The Ruts DC take to the stage, and there is noticeably more attention and reaction to them from the audience than the openers, though this is hardly surprising, given their formation in 1977 (though this particular line up reformed in 2012) means they've got 40 years in the business at this point. Add into that the reputation of one of the UK's best punk/dub-punk outfits live and you start to get why. People are dancing from the off, as they wind through their back catalogue, going through the likes of ‘Jah War’ and ‘Kill The Pain’ before they reach the crescendo of ‘In A Rut’ and ‘Babylon's Burning’, as more and more people are getting really into their 50-minute set. Another great performance.


A gong rings out, summoning Evil Blizzard to the stage and a chorus of boos rings out from around the room - this is a band that feeds off the hate and wants abuse rather than plaudits, which leads to some faces looking quite confused, as newcomers to the band clearly did not know what they were in for. This continues when they do a punkier excerpt of 'Hello, Hello, I'm Back Again' briefly. As they wind through their set, people dancing, others unsure whether to cheer or abuse, the attention is definitely focused firmly on the band, with quips such as 'The next song was a hit single in Borneo', a man in a cleaning outfit coming on stage with a mop and mopping some people unfortunate enough to be stood at the front.


The disparagement is both ways, with a co-vocalist making repeated "wanker" signs to people, who delight in returning them to him. They find time to fit in fan favourites ‘Slimy Creatures’ and ‘Everybody Come To Church’, despite the gig running behind schedule. The latter brings the main set to an end, and I sadly have to leave sharpish due to transport issues without catching the encores.


As always, Evil Blizzard are here to be in your face and they really, realllly want you to hate them. It's a pity, then, that they are so fucking entertaining that you just cannot help liking them.


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