Monday 24 February 2014

Wooden Shjips Flies Colourful Trip

Last year psych rock band Wooden Shjips from San Francisco released their fourth album Back To Land Its vinyl cover has circles cut from it so the colourful inlay can be seen through it. This is a nice visualization of their music. The spacy music holds references to The Doors and The Velvet Underground. The album is great so it is time to go check them out live.

Wooden Shjips at Bitterzoet Amsterdam, February 19 2013

Behind the band a white sheet is hanging. A beamer projects colourful psychedelic images on it throughout the whole show. Only a few other lights are used. It is a nice effect and totally supports the lengthy spacy jams. My small compact camera is incapable of taking decent pictures though. The band members are totally into their colourful world, hardly addressing the crowd. In the end that doesn't matter, because with this amount if reverb on the microphone, the few words Erik Johnson is directing to us are impossible to hear properly.

Words are totally irrelevant anyway. Most of their music doesn't have lyrics and doesn't need them. It's the grooves that count, the psychedelic jams that put you in a hypnotic trance. In between a songs you can still hear the effects buzzing from the amps as if water is running. Mostly the bass is pumping similar grooves with the drums, while keys and guitar are jamming away. Just when you think this may need a bit more variation they kick into a more classic rock tune. The keys do remind of The Doors from time to time. In the dark with all those projected colours it feels like we stepped back in time. If it wasn't for the smoking prohibition you probably would get high from just the smoke in here tonight.

All credit to the band who manage to lay down this atmosphere. Like on the album it doesn't take long to submerge into the hypnotic sounds of the repeating grooves. Similar to the cover we travel from circle to circle until we can see the whole colourful picture.

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