Headlining a sold out show at The Bodega, The Wytches educated the crowd in their hypnotic fusion of psychedelia and surf rock.
Arriving at The Bodega, it was hard to find a place to stand as around 250 people packed the small venue, anticipating the arrival onto the stage of the much hyped Brighton psych trio. Kicking off the night in a fittingly angsty style were fellow Brightoners Black Honey and the post punk threesome Traams. The supporting acts brought the atmosphere to such a lively peak, they almost gave The Wytches a run for their money. In particular, the performance of new song, Costner, by Traams was delivered in such an engaging and raw fashion you would be forgiven to think that this was the band that the sell out crowd had come to see.
A subdued entrance from The Wytches onto the cramped stage was quickly dismissed by the heaving riffs of a new song, the crowd responded accordingly and the beginnings of a mosh pit began to form in front of Vocalist, Kristian Bell’s mic. It was not long before the band dove into fan-favourite, “Digsaw”. The mosh pit grew to swallow all attending into an unhinged human whirlpool. Those in the bar downstairs must have been instantly aware when “Fragile Male” began to tear through the speakers as the floor heaved under the madness unfolding above. As a breather from the manic scene that just unfolded in front of us, The Wytches slowed the pace with “Crying Clown”. The once relentless whirlpool transformed into a ripple of swaying bodies. This did not last long. With a brief glance between bassist Daniel and Kristian, the wonderful disorder returned to The Bodega. With the words “Like a pendulum” still ringing around the venue, we thought the insanity had subsided, however The Wytches still had “Robe for Juda” in their artillery. With the eerie start and the equally sinister lighting, the crowd knew what was about to come, as Kristian begins to scream the chorus, it becomes apparent that the floor is no longer able to hold this frenzied crowd as the crowd surfing begins. At this point it is clear that this night has been a defining event in the calendar of those attending for a long time.
Towards the end of the set, The Wytches finished on two slower songs, one being the mellow “Summer Again”, it was an interesting way to finish such a high energy performance and still left the crowd chanting for an encore as the stage lights dimmed to black. The encore never happened but what will stay with those who attended on that chilly Monday night was an unforgettable collage of unbridled madness and creativity.
By Kit Bodine and Henry Every