28th June 2014 ∏
Swamp Delta at Karn’s Bar, Hinckley 28th June 2014
by Adrian Manning
Anyone with an interest in or knowledge of Leicester’s musical heritage will be familiar with Crazyhead and Gaye Bykers On Acid – two bands that led a nationwide storm in the rock world during the 80s and managed to spread their wings internationally too. Cover stars of Sounds and the NME they put Leicester firmly on the musical map.
So for anyone who loved these bands then and up to now, the recent emergence of Swamp Delta – a Leicester supergroup containing members of both the aforementioned bands was great news. Having released three new tracks and performed only two gigs in the last few months, the band arrived at Karn’s Bar in Hinckley for their first Leicester gig to date and, as it’s likely not to be repeated for a while, it was an essential one to be at.
I arrived early and the venue soon began to fill with friends and fans of the band from Leicester and many places further afield. The band ran through a sound check for the lucky early few and sounded great. After some great tunes from the venue sound system and a pumping electronic DJ set, the band took to the stage.
The song sound checked earlier ‘AC Delta’ kicked things off. Psychedelic patterns whirled around the ceiling as Alex Peach (ex Crazyhead) and second guitarist Blink Cyclone (also of Gestalt) ripped out the opening riffs. Rob Vom (ex Crazyhead too) and Robber Byker (ex GBOA) laid down a tight rhythm while Saxy Sue (the female of the group) accompanied them on sax fills. Enter Ian ‘Screaming Delta’ Anderson (ex Crazyhead) on vocals, all the way from Thailand, and he sounded great!
‘Bitchin‘ followed and although it’s easy to spot the former bands bloodlines the new tracks have their own style and energy. ‘Out On A Limb‘, the Crazyhead classic, followed and it still sounds damn good. It would be easy for the band to trade simply on past glories and became a covers band of themselves but the next three songs – their recent releases – prove they don’t need to do that. ‘Cut Loose‘, ‘Heavy Water‘ and ‘Hanging Man‘ followed in succession and these are all catchy but heavy blues tinged numbers that prove that the new music stands up by itself.
Two more new numbers were aired, ‘Neon Flag‘ and ‘Sick Liver Blues‘ before a storming version of crowd favourite ‘Have Love Will Travel‘. Next up came the track I had been waiting for and it was as brilliant as it was back in the mid 80s! ‘What Gives You The Idea That You’re So Amazing Baby?‘ is amazing. Anderson hollered out the words to this classic showing that time has not taken away any of the energy and attitude of his vocal performance or this great track.
Two more new songs continued the set ‘Talking To The Girls‘ is a pop song according to the band and ‘Touch The Sun‘ included psychedelic interludes that showcased Peach and Cyclone’s guitars, Robbers throbbing bass and Rob’s brilliant drumming to great effect.
Returning for a final encore demanded by a very happy audience the glorious Bykers anthem ‘Everything’s Groovy‘ brought the set to a climactic end. Swamp Delta produced a great set of songs both old and new and rocked this venue into submission! Welcome back fellas!