As an emotional temporary farewell to Bathymetry unfolds, Getintothis’ Amaan Khan absorbs the creative chaos of a solid lineup.
The occasion is Bathymetry‘s last gig before they go on a hiatus. We find ourselves in a rare kind of event at Buyer’s Club, for tonight it’s not about proving yourself or harnessing future profits. The bands have just come together for nothing else but to celebrate the present and the past run of Bathymetry. We too keep aside all critical endeavours and the hunt for the latest stroke of genius or perfection and just bathe in the chaotic fun of Bathyfest 2017.
Right on time, FlightWorks kick off the evening, in a room already half-filled with smoke and people, with their set of heavy pounding tunes. After which, we are lulled into some hypnotic soft tunes of our second artist. The murmur of the excited audience is only dominated by the time the third act of the night comes on.
Disastronauts are all about taking it to the basic values of equating rock n’ roll to nothing else but grabbing a couple of instruments and having fun. In the process of it, finding an excuse to squeeze in some craziness (we are talking of drummers standing on their seats while drumming and guitar strings bent without a care) along with some clever musical tricks.
And it just keeps getting better, from the moment The Shrinking Mind appears on stage, to The Prowles bringing a surprisingly beautiful juxtaposition of perfection and chaos with a sound that’s grand. When they turn the lights off, we begin to feel that is how all gigs at this venue should be lighted.
Following them with a ‘secret set’ is the trio Mad Alice that play with punk and bluesy ethics. The combination sounds fresh and they come off charismatic, becoming our favourite surprise of the evening. By this time, we are aware of the massive over-running of sets. However, when you get a lineup like this for three quid, you don’t complain if the night is longer than expected.
The revered The Floormen take the stage aware of their task of delivering a shorter set. They make the most of it with their seamless jams and provide a perfect psychedelic backdrop to the intoxicated dancing in a packed room.
There is something emotional going on when the night’s main stars Bathymetry take the stage. They culminate a bit of everything that has gone before them: the carefree fun, the grandeur, the psychedelic, the creative basslines. As they celebrate with joy in the face of some mood-killing authority troubles that led to their temporary break, we see genuine punk ethos in action.
Being their last show for a while, the disregard for future liberates them to be better than any other time we might have seen them in the past. They scream into their mics, they lock those backbeats, they exchange guitar duties and they continue to be their bathyselves that we have cherished and seen develop over time, before finishing with an improptu rendition of WWII classic We’ll Meet Again in their own style – a perfectly emotional finish to an otherwise plainly joyous evening.
This is not the time to look for the next big thing. This is just about groups that have soundtracked local parties for years and defined the ever-so-often used words like ‘scene‘ and ‘vibe‘. All we can do is forget everything else and join the celebration until, in the end, there is only one thing left to say: Thank You, Bathymetry.
Pictures by Getintothis’ Lucy McLachlan