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Live Review: Psychedelic Porn Crumpets @ YES Pink Room, Manchester, 23/02/19


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So when you think of the band name Psychedelic Porn Crumpets, what do you expect? An iridescent serving of Rated-R savoury snack? Not quite, but it seemingly reflects the idiosyncratic psychedelic rock of their first two records. The band's reputation for electric live shows have earned them the well-earned status of having the sugar-sweet YES pink room, packed out like a tin of sardines - but the crowd won’t be contained for long.

Image Credit: Sam Hesketh

Arriving in time for the end of Liverpool’s The Mysterines, the band fronted by Lia Medcalf come as a catalyst for tonight’s main act. They've garnered quite the reputation in their home city, with the battle-axe gruff vocals of Medcalf complimenting the distortion-heavy guitars. The Manchester crowd seem to dig them too, undeniably courting up some of the main act's fan base.

“Wow, this lot have a big following don’t they?” is overheard as a fervent buzz starts to form around the front of the stage. Though usually, those choosing to engage in moshing tend to extend to the first quarter of the venue, PPC’s active fanbase seems to extend to the first three-quarters. As the band stride on stage amid a mass of impressive hair growth, cheers ring from a varying crowd demographic. The band don’t need the visuals in order to translate that sort hallucinogenic feel - their music is aesthetically potent as it is.

Kicking off with 'Gurzle', ensues is a cacophony of various limbs erupting from the front of the stage. Though the quartet mostly remain stationary, this is not at all an issue, as the potent psych riffs contain all the vivacious energy they need to get the crowd moving. What’s so impressive is the ability to combine the hazy with the galvanised; an atmosphere that feels both strangely warm and chaotic at the time.

Following with one of our top singles of last year ‘Social Candy’, the first bodies ascend skywardly from the comfort of their mates' shoulders, despite the pink ceiling hovering dangerously close. As the song ups tempo, bodies begin to ride over the crowd, but there’s no worry of injury as the venue is blanketed with an invisible feeling of safety and inclusivity. Frontman Jack McEwan reminds everyone afterwards to have fun but to look out for fellow gig-goers at the same time.

‘Buzz’ and ‘Surfs Up’ follow in which the energy seems to never flatline, with one of the crowd losing their watch in a state of frenzy. McEwan soon reunites the owner, after a plea to help the two to be reunite - touching right? There isn’t a bad vibe in the crowd, as the band’s hedonistic sound provides a vessel you can lose yourself for an hour and forget about everything melancholy. As McEwan announces they’re to play some of the newer songs such as ‘Keen For Kick Ons’, and a yet untitled single, the fans do their best to offer a recital of every lyric. This isn’t a band you’re passive about.

Wandering to the back for a break from the potent sweat of the middle row, it’s obvious the bands appeal isn’t just to a singular demographic. A woman is in a ritualistic frenzy near the entrance to the YES’s pink-haven, as the band finish with the piercing 'Nek' from High Visceral Pt2 (of which are being sold on limited edition vinyl at the merch stand). Both new and old songs are received with the same fervent energy, that makes a Psychedelic Porn Crumpets crowd one of the most exciting you will encounter this year.

Their gig hasn’t confirmed exactly what a Psychedelic Porn Crumpet is, but I am most definitely a fan.

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