Thursday, 22 March 2018


Four-piece SKWID INK kicked off proceedings at Headrow House, each wearing more outrageous clothing than the last, from red dresses with blue bucket hats to a kimono and pyjama bottoms. Their set was more or less the last thing I would have expected. The band consisted of a guitarist, a double bassist, a keyboard player and a drummer.
Musically they were a boiling pot of influences with clear inspiration from the likes of BadBadNotGood and Kendrick Lamar, whose song 'Hood Politics' they performed a reworking of. Whilst I know very little about jazz music it was clear that this group were immensely passionate and talented.
It was also refreshing to see a support act that weren’t four blokes singing about how pissed they were this weekend and how they shouldn’t have kissed that girl.  

Next up were SELF LOVE, a two-piece from Cambridge, made up of a drummer and a bass player/vocalist. Musically they were huge, some earth shattering bass riffs that sounded like they were straight from a DFA 1979 record paired with some up tempo drumming made for a sound that left me feeling like I needed a shower.

Vocally I found them very weak, the singing was just in the background of this beastly sounding bass. A mixture of poor vocals and songs that lasted a minute left the set feeling lacklustre, I do however think with a new vocalist they have potential to be massive.


I was told between 70-80 people were there, with Headrow House looking quite embarrassingly less than 1/3 full. With four albums under their belt and a fifth out in a month,  to see so few people there was definitely a shock. However when The Garden took to the stage and the 50 or so crazed fangirls bolted to the direction of the stage, the poor ticket sales are quickly forgiven.

They rapped first song together before the Fletcher took to the drums and Wyatt picked up his guitar and stood at the microphone, when not playing instruments they join each other to rap over weird electronic backing tracks for each song from house to experimental pop. They were both engrossing throughout with bags of stage presence.

The set had all the songs a fan could want and treated the crowd to a few tracks from their upcoming album. It was a wild set, containing everything weird and wonderful that the Shears twins have to offer.
Ending their set on the incredibly short 'Vada Vada,' that Spotify tells me was 19 seconds long and my notes concur with me saying it was very short. I left Headrow House a little shaken, not quite sure what to make of what I had seen I was left with an overall sense of ‘well that was different’ but hey, at least it’s that right? It’s different.
I was trying to think how do I end this review and really how better to end than this little pearl of wisdom from David Bowie “I don't know where I'm going from here, but I promise it won't be boring.”
The Garden are lots of things but I fail to see how anyone could think they were boring.

Written by Jack.

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