It seems that Evil Blizzard have amassed quite a following since their last visit to Stockton. The band last visited the region back in May, stepping up to headline duties at Tees Music Alliance’s Sonic union festival in place of Toy.
The band is a rather odd one, consisting of four bass players and a singing drummer, and that’s before you consider their rather unique costume. Theatrics is a large part of Blizzard’s show. Each member dons a strange mask and outfit; it’s rare that they’re seen in the flesh. We’re blessed with that rare chance at the band’s first show of the day; an instore at the much-loved Sound It Out Records.
There’s a buzz in the air before the band have even arrived, which is understandable seeing as they’re quite late. A large crowd has already gathered by the time the band begin setting up, and it doesn’t seem like I’m the only one surprised to see them out of character. A quick change and the band are away, launching into latest single ‘Sacrifice’. They manage to be menacing, even in full daylight.
The band are backed up by the much-loved members that don’t play instruments, but whose main purpose seems to be to stir up the crowd. A man donning a pig mask and boiler suit, and a man armed with a mop, complete the live experience. Despite the lack of space, the majority of the audience are thwacked with the mop, and given business cards to prove it.
After the band’s fairly short set, it’s over to the historic Georgian Theatre for the main show. Support comes from Hartlepool’s First Process Church of Mars. Their seemingly endless drone metal seems to have gained a new psych element thanks to a synth player, making for a much more enjoyable watch.
Evil Blizzard take to the stage once again, this time, the atmosphere is absolutely incredible. People in the crowd have donned full costume, not unlike the band themselves; it’s almost cult-like.
The band blitz through most their set of doom-y post-punk, before being joined by their two performers. With more room to move, they’re jumping in amongst the crowd and getting up to mischief.
‘Are You Evil’ whips the crowd up into a frenzy, with our pig-masked friend joining in with the sudden rush of bodies. Mop man strikes again, with me being a prime target (the mop was wet this time, I’m still rather worried).
The gig is over far too soon, mind. An eerie encore of ‘(Open Up the) Red Box’, and the band are off to cause mischief elsewhere. The band may be terrifying or infuriating to watch for some, but for others, it’ll be an absolute blast. It’s maybe not one to take the kids to, but those with an ear for heavier stuff will surely enjoy it. Think Black Sabbath, just with more mops. I’m dying for their next visit already.
Photographer – Andy Lochrie
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