Strange Cages at The Birdcage, Southsea REVIEW: 'Amped up, cranked up, messed up and ravenous'

Brighton four-piece Strange Cages make a very welcome return to our rain-lashed city.

Monday, 9th March 2020, 1:42 pm
Updated Monday, 9th March 2020, 1:42 pm
Strange Cages live. Picture by Paul Windsor

But they don’t react well to captivity. Headlining for Calamity Cratediggers promotions, the support from Dan Lyons, Mango and Curbwire all pulled out the stops to cast a long sinister shadow, eclectic and intriguing.

These Strange Cages howled, roared and rattlesnaked their way through the bars, unchained.

Maybe the cage is metaphorical for the suppression of free-will. But they rail against normality with their ferocious dark psychedelic world, swooping like a falcon or rumbling from the depths.

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Dancing Like An Alpha Male and Bam Bam Boom from their 2 EPs shake their scaly jowls in a live setting. Guitars screech and hypnotise, creepy keyboards and pumped up bass are smashed against the cage bars by ferocious drumming. The stage cannot contain these hybrid chimeras.

In full control like a beast, or maybe THE Beast, it wants flesh – it’s as if Alice in Wonderland had Leatherface and The Joker waiting at the bottom of a bewildering swirl, descending down the rabbithole. With The Doors amped up, cranked up, messed up and ravenous this is what you get.

The Cages are broken, twisted, mangled and the multi-headed beast can smell your cold sweat.

It’s thrillingly fearful. This ain’t Jurassic Park. Here be the dark things. HP Lovecraft’s world has a voice.