The Slade Rooms, Wolverhampton, 18th November 2014.
Bigelf started life in 1991 and have dipped in and out of the music scene ever since. Their latest offering of their fourth studio album ‘Into the Malestrom’ is a fine example of their well stylized classic rock and metal-inspired psychedelic songs that pay homage to the likes of Black Sabbath with a dash of Deep Purple thrown in. Bigelf describe themselves as playing Wonka Metal. Well there was no chocolate or umpa lumpas seen at tonight’s gig, only oodles and oodles of psychedelic, tripaholic, progressive mayhem.
The whirlwind odyssey of musical delights from LA’s finest prog rockers Bigelf was dominated by the stage presence of lead guy Damon Fox. Flanked by an impressive array of vintage prog keyboards that included the Mini Moog, the Hammond Organ and the Mellotron, Fox dominated the crowd’s attention with a full theatrical lead performance.
Squeezed in around Fox on the Slade Rooms wide but narrow stage were bassist Duffy Snowhill, drummer Baron Fox and guest guitarist, the hugely talented John Wesley from Porcupine Tree fame.
Opening their set with the hypnotic ‘The Evils of Rock and Roll’, Bigelf effortlessly travelled through their 70’s esque set that was loaded with fast progressive rock tunes that included ‘Madhatter’, ‘Hypersleep’ and ‘Counting Sheep’ whilst zig zagging through heavy powered different styles, perfectly summing up why Bigelf are such an enthralling musical proposition for anyone willing to let the music do the talking. To finish the night Bigelf returned to a crowd fuelled roar to complete an encore that included the heavily Beatle influenced ‘Incredible Time Machine’.
In the main support slot were Bend Sinister who hail from Vancouver, Canada. Their vintage moog keyboard was in full effect with Bend Sinister surprising most in the room with their charming antics and contagious feel good vibes. But their prog values were superbly mixed in with killer riffs and dynamic drumming.
Opening the night were New Yorkers, Jolly. With energetic time changes and raw bellowing vocals, Jolly set a great tempo for the night with their set that was laced with thunderous rock guitars and catchy melodies resulting in an ambient progressive soundscape, producing an impressive and beautiful atmosphere.
Review and Photography by Stephen Turner.