We went along to catch Tijuana Bibles on Sunday night at King Tuts and with an eclectic choice of support bands I wasn’t sure what to expect of the main support that quietly set up in front of us. As the stage crew shifted amps around and manoeuvred the drum kit to the side of the stage it transpired that the band, The Dead Raven, were a two-piece. It shouldn’t be a surprise by now; it’s fine to have just two band members, but your default expectation when coming to see a band is at least three in the line-up.
Hushed interest enveloped the crowd as the band kicked off into the opening of their set. What I watched for the next 20 minutes was really quite extraordinary. With the guitar literally screeching into action the drums followed quickly with a primitive, pounding drive taking everyone by surprise. The noise this band were making was unbelievable! Described as “low-tuned retro-psych Rock ‘n’ Roll” on the bands Facebook, the set was a masterclass on how to keep things simple yet very, very effective.
During their performance I witnessed something I’ve never experienced at a gig before – after the rapturous applause following each song there was just complete anticipatory silence, it was pretty special. There was something mystical about the performance with no interaction with the audience but it didn’t need it. The blistering guitar work said everything that had to be said with the driving drums furiously thrashing in support of the guitars distorted menace. Big, open chords, palm mute work, riffs, distortion – it’s what you want to hear from a rock and roll band. With a haunting “diabolus in musica” I was hooked completely from the first song.