Bearded Magazine / Bearded Live Pile @ The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham 31.10.2016

Pile @ The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham 31.10.2016

“That is on the list! Perfect timing!"

Posted on Nov 18th, 2016 in Bearded Live / By Ian Stanley
Pile @ The Sunflower Lounge Birmingham 31.10.2016 Pile, labelled as “Your favourite band’s favourite band”, took their first trip to Birmingham (UK not Alabama) and introduced new songs and their brand of Boston (US not Lincolnshire) drawl-laden rock to a small cult crowd that gathered in the downstairs changing-room-sized venue of the Sunflower Lounge.

Support was from October Drift who performed first. The band is frenzied in their performance. Bouncing like nodes of electricity off the stage and their guitar strings so it almost seems like they could be miming. But they’re not. Heavy chorus rushes and a lead singer that walks into the audience for effect. Climbing the stairwell he uses his arms as a rope to leers over the crowd. Lulling a chorus line and a verse as he does so. Consider the crowd warmed and the lead singer a little bit sweaty.

After a short while, Pile clamber down into the basement to deliver their own set. After a short soundcheck and they assault the tiny room with the warm booming opening chords of ‘Baby Boy’ from the album Dripping. Delivering growls, drawls and high pitched sirens as if he’s been warming up for hours rather than drinking pints upstairs Rick Maguire leads with his voice and lets the rest of the band follow. The control of his gritty Boston howl is at times like hauling mustangs into the bounds of a road.

The band follow by drawing out the middle eight on a punchy, juicy ‘The Browns’ and then scream through a jagged, metallic ‘Tin Foil Hat’ showing the contrast between the two albums – Dripping and You’re Better Than This – and the two sides of the band.

Of less need for control, but of greater diversity, is the audience. A music appreciation society lot. There’s the older generation in plaid. The younger generation with backpacks on, a gurning chav with a black eye that appears to know all the words, and a couple of rockers headbanging to the chorus. The room might not be jammed, but it’s about as diverse as possible.

New songs follow old songs, with little pause for breath. Or the drop of sweat clinging on to the end of Rick Maguire’s nose. Two songs to go. One audience member shouts (or says quite loudly as it’s a pretty small venue) “PROM SONG” to which Rick replies “That is on the list! Perfect timing!” Which could be said of any song played tonight.

Then proceeds one of the best received moments of the evening. The riff of ‘Prom Song’ enters the room. It’s chilled and bending notes completely relaxing or stimulating the audience further. One bloke headbangs like lead, then furiously, then stomps, then raptures and then, when the solo hits drops to the floor head in hands and hair over eyes as if he’s about to break down, but enjoys it.

Unlike the gurning bloke who left ages ago.

One final song and it’s a set that’s over in little more than an hour, but it feels like it's over seamlessly in minutes. A set that seems, whatever song it was, “that is on the list! Perfect timing!”