Portsmouth Psych Fest at The Wedgewood Rooms REVIEW: ‘An incredible, immersive experience’

Snapped Ankles at Portsmouth Psych Fest on May 4, 2019. Picture : Paul Windsor
Snapped Ankles at Portsmouth Psych Fest on May 4, 2019. Picture : Paul Windsor
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Snapped Ankles are a curious proposition.

Their music veers from dream-pop to post-punk and krautrock, oh, and they ‘play’ branches of wood too.

But they are never less than entirely danceable - as the crowd which has packed out The Wedge for their slot at Portsmouth Psych Fest is ably proving.

Decked out in boiler-suits and wearing messy thatches for wigs which obscure their faces, their anonymity allows you to focus on the tribal rhythms of this intense music.

It’s easy to see why they’re favourites of 6Music. 

Their records are good - but live they’re an incredible, immersive experience.

With 18 bands on throughout the day, alternating between The Wedge and the smaller adjacent Edge of The Wedge, the bill proves that psychedelic music can cover a broad church - from the sunny instrumentals of Los Bitchos to the brooding, industrial-edged Scalping, whose intensity is a joy to behold, and all points in between.

Headliners Yak are currently riding high on the back of their second album, Pursuit of Momentary Happiness, which saw the trio come on in huge leaps and bounds from their debut.

Bassist Vincent Davies and drummer Elliot Rawson know their job - to keep the groove while their frontman Ole Burslem does his thing. Whether barking through a megaphone or peeling out insane guitar solos, Burslem is a total livewire, with charisma to burn.

And if there’s a more aptly titled song for the whole day than that of their recent single Fried, I didn’t catch it.

By the end of their set Oli has dismantled one of the painted mannequins with a giant eyeball for a head that has flanked the stage all day and is doing some strange things to it. It’s a suitably weird end to proceedings.

Now in its third year, the psych fest has become firmly fixed in the gigging calendar. Long may they continue to keep Southsea tripping out.