SPILT @ Live Bar, Warrington, 21.06.19

Rapidly ascendant alt. rock trio play stunning, revelatory show on home turf

Jun 21st, 2019 at Live Bar Warrington / By Richard Lewis
SPILT @ Live Bar, Warrington, 21.06.19 Bubbling up from the Primordial Soup of the Mersey Basin, teenage alt. rock mavens SPILT are on a rapidly ascending trajectory. The closest thing to a home town gig the Jacaranda Records signed three piece can play, newly minted venue the Live Bar in Warrington supplies the stage for a revelatory performance.

Opening with a squall of feedback, Pockit gets things underway as the near-capacity crowd flocks forwards, Funny Money following in quick succession is a precision piece of stop-start, loud-quiet state of the art alt. rock. With tub-thumper Josh steering the songs with John Bonham esque power, Ronnie’s basslines thunder like the suspension cables of a bridge in a gale. Centre of it all is mesmeric lead singer / guitarist Mo, able to wring screeching feedback, arpeggios and scabrous power chords from his axe without having to even glance down.

The term shamanic is vastly overused but the description absolutely applies here, the audience eating out of the palm of his hand from the minute his Fender guitar is fired up. Alternating between bug eyed, agitated Wilko Johnsons-style nervous energy and times when he seems lost in a complete reverie, the crowd is with him for every second. The simpatico between the players is such the setlist is only adhered to up to a point, the trio going wherever the music takes them next.

So, how to categorise / micro genre them then? Dream grunge? Psych alt. rock? Punk shoegaze? Does it matter? The three piece wield a sound vastly greater than the sum of their parts, with the moment that Acid Baby kicks in sounding as though double of the amount of players are onstage a highlight of the evening. While Motherbrain showcases the group’s combination of abrasion and melody. The verse lyric of 1984, "You can drop another bomb / You can tell another lie" feels horribly relevant at the present moment. The slogans Winston Smith railed against ‘War is Peace. Freedom is Slavery. Ignorance is Strength’ lose none of their prescience sixty years after Orwell created them.

Helium Heart provides the show’s summit, setting the controls for the heart of the sun with a garage band at the console. Opening with a bass pulse similar to Pink Floyd’s One Of These Days, the track stakes out the same snotty psychedelic territory that prog prodigies Hawkwind made waves with, the double-figure running time feeling a quarter of the length. Facemelter does exactly what it promises, rocking like a three headed goat while Order moves from grunge rush to all-out apocalypse to Smashing Pumpkins-like dreaminess in the space of four minutes.

Able to provoke a mosh pit over an hour after they started playing, incredibly for a group with no formal releases out in the world, they give strong indication they could have played for longer. Proceedings conclude in spectacular fashion with Mo perched atop the bass drum shouting into the kit microphones, before a stage invasion envelops the band.

And to conclude, the terms ‘rising’ or ‘ascendant’ at the beginning of the article doesn’t really do them justice at this stage. Watch ‘em sky rocket then swiftly go interstellar is far more accurate.