Black Peaks – Phoxjaw: Live at Wedgewood Rooms

With barely a break for a cup of tea and a biscuit after their tour with Enter Shikari, Black Peaks hit the road again alongside Noise-Rockers, Phoxjaw in support of their new sophomore release, All That Divides (Rise/BMG). With the new release moving in a more progressive direction to their debut, how well will this translate onto the live circuit?

Emerging onto the stage in a thick cloud of smoke and distortion is Phoxjaw. An air of danger lingering around the band before they launch into motion. Flailing around the stage unable to keep still, the quintet fire off a round of grungy-noise, infecting the crowd with their rhythm. Essences of modern-day era Daughters can be found through their manipulation of pedals, amps, and feedback. Phoxjaw set the bar high for the Brighton-based band to live up to. As they came, the five-piece depart from the stage, engulfed in heavy distortion, leaving the audience wanting more.

Enter Black Peaks. No strangers to the stage as one by one, the band steps into the room. Bursting into life, they open with ‘Slow Seas’. Nothing can be even remotely be described as slow throughout their set however, as the act pour their souls into the show. No longer did Black Peaks simply play their material, they performed it. Small accompaniments fit between songs as guitarist Joe Gosney demonstrates his prowess. “It’s been four years since we last played here” beamed Will Gardner, and it’s made clear how much progress has been made since the bands’ formation and where they stand now, four years later with two albums under the band’s belt. Gardner is a force to be reckoned with, commanding the crowd into a frenzy for Statues’ single, ‘Say You Will’.

Undoubtedly, Black Peaks have proven themselves to be a band on the move up with their recorded efforts, but with the quality of their live performance, no mountain seems high enough. In a fair, just world, the quarter will be moving onto academies and even arenas before too long and their journey to the top is going to be a sight to witness.

CHARLIE HILL