Crowbar review: at The Wedgewod Rooms, Southsea

Crowbar
Crowbar

Sludge metal pioneers Crowbar brought a taste of that famous NOLA humidity to town, battering a sweaty crowd for a whirlwind 60 minutes.

Tuned low and played slow, Crowbar’s brand of heavy metal emerged from New Orleans, Louisiana in the late eighties and early nineties. It remains influential to this very day, with rock bands like Mastodon and Baroness borrowing more than a pinch of that brooding, bludgeoning riffery heard in All I Had (I Gave) and Planets Collide.

Throwing in some hardcore punk – I Am The Storm suddenly changed the tempo mid-set – and it’s easy to see the band’s appeal amongst the south coast’s heavy metal community.

The road is a familiar place for Crowbar, with four tours already under their belt for 2018. The band were slick and professional – I think they might have done this before, you know – and frontman Kirk Windstein’s gravelly bellow looked absolutely effortless on stage.

Kirk, the band’s sole remaining founding member, thanked the crowd for 29 years of support and in return, they threw up the devil’s horns salute and appreciated one of the few frontmen who can pull off wearing a backwards baseball cap in 2018. Kirk’s words of thanks to the audience didn’t sound fake or by-the-numbers, he seemed genuinely humbled that people were still coming out to a Crowbar show and giving it their all, even on a Wednesday night.

If Crowbar were a slow hammer blow to the brain, main support act Ingested dished out death by a thousand cuts. Technical and intricate, they wouldn’t usually be seen on a bill like this but while they weren’t this reviewer’s cup of tea, credit to Crowbar and/or the promoters for delivering a varied line-up.

ASH CURTIS