The fourth annual Keep It Heavy event rolled into Outpost recently and Getintothis’ Nedim Hassan was there to see how Outpost is continuing a Maguire’s tradition by hosting killer bands at the cutting edge of the heavy scale.
The impact of the loss of Maguire’s and its quirky Mexican wrestling themed interiors is reduced by the sight of quotes from John Carpenter’s The Thing adorning the walls of Outpost. The blow is also softened by a larger bar and beer on tap (although they need to do something about their range of pale ales).
Thankfully, the actual gig space has changed little since Maguire’s became Outpost. The familiar black interiors and walls decorated in posters from former gigs remain. As does the alluring odour of garlic bread and the best veggie and vegan pizza in town. Outpost continues to be the ideal setting for the type of charity-organised gig on the agenda tonight.
Lyam Kirkham was a respected drummer on the metal scene and a member of Stereo Virgins before he lost his life as a result of a brain tumour. The Fund set up in his honour raises money for The Brain Tumour Charity.
Tonight some of Lyam’s peers and friends are hosting the fourth annual Keep It Heavy festival, with 100% of the ticket sales going to support the fund.
Proceedings get going in stupendously heavy fashion with Merseyside’s favourite horror metal supergroup, Video Nasties.
Fresh from our profile of the band for the Dysgeusia Halloween Special, bassist Rick Owen eagerly tells us that the songs for the new album are all complete. If their live set is anything to go by, then when that hits us at some point next year it should destroy all in its path.
Bathed in billowing dry ice and surrounded by their now customary green haze, Video Nasties are having the time of their lives as they launch into a set filled with new songs.
Their brand of black ‘n’ roll is a delicious concoction underpinned by some seriously catchy guitar hooks. The sound is also deceptively rich, betraying not only their black, death and doom metal influences, but also punk, post-punk and even electronica.
Just a coupla spooky guys doin’ spooky things. Cheers to all that caught us last night. Cheers to Gravves and the Jon Jones Beatnik Movement and a massive love to @WizardBastard for bringing the party. Always Keep It Heavy. pic.twitter.com/ZH6Waj2ENL
— Video Nasties (@Videonastiesuk) November 25, 2018
Perhaps because it is the most familiar, Transvoltum remains the crowd’s firm favourite and a bit of impromptu moshing and slam dancing breaks out amongst the faithful. Recent single Viva Deth closes their set in riotous fashion and whets the appetite for what is to follow.
Gravves are a Welsh power trio and they deliver an energetic brand of alt rock that draws on the likes of Queens of the Stone Age without ever feeling derivative. Hello Sailor in particular is a masterclass in ferocious, but hugely catchy, punk rock that features some blistering lead guitar work.
During their set the audience discover that, not only does each member contribute considerably to the vocals, but the bass and lead guitarist can swap instruments. Although this doesn’t stop someone in the crowd from quipping “I bet you can’t swap with the drummer!”
With vocalist Joe swaggering onto the Outpost stage looking like a stoned version of Robert Plant, Jon Jones and the Beatnik Movement threaten to steal the show.
First single, No Brainer, sounds monumental and their overall set simply compels everyone in the vicinity to nod their heads and tap their feet. This Bradford-based garage rock band is currently writing their debut album and, on this evidence, that could turn out to be a highly promising maiden voyage.
Headliners Mammoth Weed Wizard Bastard bring the curtain down on Keep It Heavy 4 with their brand of what they describe on social media as “Druid doom space rock.” It is a dense sound full of monolithic riffing, though relief is provided through Jessica Ball’s resonant and delicate vocals.
Due to late running, MWWB don’t really get to unleash their full range of powers. Nonetheless, the crowd are enthralled and compelled to nod their heads in obedience to the band’s lumbering sonic presence.
After raising our glasses to Lyam and to everyone involved with tonight’s event, we disappeared into the night with ringing ears. Keep It Heavy 4 certainly lived up to its name. Yet, while it undoubtedly raised funds for a worthwhile cause it also reminded those in attendance that, with the depth of talent on display throughout the bill, the future of heavy music is in good hands.