I have only seen Brant Bjork perform once before and that was with Vista Chino in Newcastle back in Nov 2013. I have witnessed Brant Bjork the phenomenal and legendary drummer. Now it’s time to experience – Brant Bjork, the Desert Rock/Stoner Rock legend and solo artist playing a collection of his greatest hits and a few tunes from his upcoming excellent new album – Black Flower Power – with the Low Desert Punk Band.
Belgrave Music Hall is a great venue as it has an intimate vibe where the crowd feel very much part of the action. The acoustics and sound system is excellent at this venue but more about that later. We had two support bands opening for Brant Bjork and The Low Desert Punk Band. Baba Naga and LTNT. This is the second time I have seen Baba Naga in the space of less than 24 hours as I saw them supporting H A R K and Ken Mode the night before at Sheffield South Sea Live. They did perform a good set the night before but tonight they are something else. Baba Naga’s sound is a weird psychedelic mix of Stoner, Doom, Drone and Noise that makes for a very loud and hypnotic experience as this hard-rocking trio slowly started to win some fans in the audience tonight. If you’re a fan of OM and Hawkwind then Baba Naga are a band to look out for within the UK Stoner Rock scene.
Up next was LTNT – I did give these guys a couple of songs but they weren’t for me. So I headed downstairs to the bar until Brant Bjork And The Low Desert Punk band were ready to appear. Around 10:05pm, an eager and excited audience were waiting for the arrival of one of Desert Rock/Stoner Rock iconic performers of the last 23 years to appear on stage. When Brant did appear he did not disappoint as he blasted his way through a storming almost 90 minute set full packed full of classic tunes and tracks from his upcoming new album – Black Flower Power.
The Low Desert Punk Band were immense from start to finish. The sound was deafening at times with hazy Stoner/Desert rock riffs that had the audience devouring every second of it. Brant was the consumate performer with his killer vocals showing a loud fiery passion not many of his peers can match. The Desert Rock/Stoner Rock vibe is in full swing as The Low Desert Punk Band come out ready for action as they blaze there way through tracks such as Low Desert Punk, Lazy Bones, Too Many Chiefs.. Not Enough Indians, Controllers Destroyed and the classic new Brant Bjork track – Stokely Up Now.
The whole atmosphere was electric as the band and audience felt in tune with one another through out the entire gig. Brant keeps communication with the audience down to a minimum but when he does speak he thanks the almost sell-out crowd for coming out to see him on a Sunday night. We should be thanking him for putting on such a fantastic show that proves why Brant Bjork is considered such a pioneer within the Desert/Stoner Rock Scene.
The Low Desert Punk Band have a real buzz about them. They played some epic jams that had the audience captivated. It felt we were transported to the Californian Hot Desert Sun as the music had a timeless quality and aura to it. When Brant and the guys did leave stage, they were given one heck of a reception, which they were truly thankful for. Obviously, the band treated the audience to a blistering encore where the guys played 73 and The Future Rock (We Got It) that left the entire audience begging for more. Sadly, that was it. 90 minutes of a brilliant gig that people will remember for a long time to come.
If you missed this gig then you missed something special here. Brant Bjork and The Low Desert Punk Band was incredible. All you need to know.
Thanks to Andy and Mona at Napalm for arranging for ourselves to see this gig. Black Flower Power will be available to buy from Napalm Records on November 14th 2014. You can read Marc's incredible review here
Word by Steve Howe
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