Let's face it, Manchester would not be the same without a monthly instalment of grass roots psychedelia, infused with talents from all over the world. Astral Elevator is the quintessential Manchester psychedelic experience. In this, the ninth instalment the AE family returns to a familiar venue, Gullivers. Located right in the heart of the Northern Quarter, the beating heart of the Manchester music scene. Liam Hart caught Déjà Vega and Desert Mountain Tribe at the latest instalment.
Having watched Déjà Vega at Manchester Psychfest a few months ago, I was interested to see how they have progressed. My memories of Déjà Vega were of catchy, edgy, ballsy post punk, mixed with psychedelia. My memory served me correct as the whole venue was subjected to a full on musical assault. This is exactly what I needed to warm me up.
Déjà Vega have so much passion, aggression and flair that it is not hard to become instantly enthralled by them. I struggle to pick out a song in particular to focus on, but I shall choose Pentagrams to use as an example. Pentagrams is the quintessential Déjà Vega song. I found myself turning to the next person and mouthing “tune”. Beginning with dark, metallic power chords, a beautiful and melodic riff drifts over before the song jitters into a short break before Jack’s tender vocals kick in. This short verse is then buffeted aside by a powerful and unforgettable chorus.
In the space of four months, Déjà Vega have developed into a solid psychedelic/post punk rock band. If they continue with this trajectory, I can only see great things coming from this charismatic threesome. You guys are certainly welcome to come back any time you like; consider Manchester your second home.
Dark, melodic and menacing, Desert Mountain Tribe are the perfect end to a post punk themed psychedelic experience. Similar in many ways to Hey Bulldog, Desert Mountain Tribe make the most of what they have. As a power trio, there is no room to hide, everything has to be purposeful, powerful and direct. In this aspect, Desert Mountain Tribe do not disappoint.
Desert Mountain Tribe easily drew me into kind of tantric dream where one song drifted into another within the blink of an eye. The progression from one song to another is beautiful. Jonty guides the crowd through the experience as if he was the Pied Piper’s Native American cousin. The crowd are entrapped in the hazy atmosphere that Desert Mountain Tribe exude.
Key to their recent success is due in part to such strong tracks like Take a Ride and Coming Down. Take a Ride In particular is a personal favourite of mine, I just cannot help singing along to the memorable chorus baying me to take a ride. Believe me, hearing Desert Mountain Tribe live is the equivalent to taking a ride into the shadowy yet beautiful mindset of these three very talented musicians. Thanks for the ride, until next time.
Desert Mountain Tribe are on Facebook and Twitter.
Déjà Vega are on Facebook, Twitter and Soundcloud.
More details on Astral Elevator's monthly nights can be found on their Facebook page. Thanks to Le for use of the photo.