We were invited to check out All Them Witches headline show in Whelan’s on Monday with support from The Ghost Wolves. With a live act said to be jam-filled, where no two shows are the same, we couldn’t refuse. Where there is big fuzz, deep grooves and kaleidoscopic mind bending psychedelic blues-rock I’m there.
Like a storm in a teacup The Ghost Wolves take to the stage. With a white wolf mask sitting on a mic stand watching and judging us all, they blast us straight into their ruckus causing rock and roll dripping in bluesy swagger. Carley with her cowboy hat and boots strides across the stage lean, mean and fiery she wails, shouts and bellows at the crowd who are enthralled ready to subdue to her every command. Together this duo are a well-oiled machine each track belting into the next while the crowd go wild moshing and jumping. The thrilling guitar fuzz and shrill teamed with adrenaline pumping drums gets the crowd warmed up screaming for more in no time. ”Do You Like Cry Babies?” Carley shouts at the crowd “nobody likes crybabies” is the fiesty introduction to the neck snapping ‘Crybabies Go Home’. The crowd roar the “whoohoohoo” lyrics back to her as she jumps about the stage. Elaborate guitar poses and all it’s purely captivating. Swagger is a tame word for these guys, they are wild and absolutely mental but it makes for a fascinating live set and the crowd were lapping it up. When you think it couldn’t get better she introduces the one string wonder “because all you need is one god damn string” that’s right a guitar with one string that plays just as mighty and meaty as a six string makes you wonder why anyone plays guitar normally. This duo are cool and feisty and boy do they put on a live show.
All Them Witches stroll on stage following the crowds sing along to Black Sabbath‘s ‘War Pigs’. Drummer Robby Staebler is in nothing but fluorescent yellow shorts. On a chilly October night, I can only assume he planned to work up a sweat. Pretty slick and cool they compose themselves and smash straight into their sweet blissful wobbly psychedelia. With our minds all melted and dazed by their instrumental intro they belt out ‘When God Comes Back’ the crowd erupt bellowing the lyrics back full of expression. They throw themselves into the tracks yelping and wooing after each song. Vocalist and guitarist Charles Michael Parks in a timid deep voice thanks the crowd for coming and tells them the band almost didn’t make it over. His advice for the night “do whatever you want, be yourself, have fun and don’t hurt no body”. The set becomes extremely manic as the crowd grow more and more hysterical by each track the four-piece play, one guy bows at Parks’ feet in worship of him. Frenzied moshing consumes the entire center floor as people get pushed around some onto the stage only to bounce back up to jump, dance and mosh again. All while All Them Witches maintain a cool suave on stage just jamming through the bluesy psychedelic tunes. Live these guys are awesome, the sound so thrilling and mind liquefying yet hefty and monstrous. ‘Charlies William’ once again is met with screams whoops and yelps from the crowd. They are so into it I think even All Them Witches seem surprised. Their Irish fans are insanely enthusiastic changing the room into a moshing slaughter house, while still having respect for the others around them. ‘Bulls’ and Alabaster’ brings a surge of exhilaration over the crowd as they adoringly chant the lyrics back with an overflow of joy, it’s like they are at an altar, wildly worshiping. They beg the band to stay when Parks announces their last few songs but he soothingly insists he can’t.
After screams, whistles and shouts for “one more tune” the band return to the stage for a ferocious rendition of ‘Swallowed By The Sea’. The crowd explode in a rapture of moshing and dancing Parks ventures off stage to join them in this wild frenzy – much to the crowd’s surprise and delight they swarm around him so much he almost has to crawl back on stage to finish the track lying down. It was Epic, raw and spontaneous and therefore perfect.
The Americans brought a bluesy soaked cyclone into Whelan’s on a quiet Monday night and it was legendary.