A new alternative It band awaits
Joe Connell
10:52 10th August 2022

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Every once in a while, a band slinks out from London’s murky underbelly and sets the alternative music scene alight...black midi’s ascent from Windmill residents to Somerset House headliners is one of the most recent examples of this – quite the feat for an act that prides themselves on mind-melting prog rock.

Black Country, New Road were following a similar trajectory until vocalist Isaac Wood’s untimely departure, and the same can be said for kraut punkers Squid, who arose from nowhere before getting snapped up by Warp Records.

Butch Kassidy could and should be the next band to follow suit.

Shrouded in mystery and drawing immediate comparisons to black Midi’s eerie early days, the quartet from West Ealing rarely give interviews and only have one track, the 10-minute ‘Heath’, which appears on their Spotify profile. Their lack of any social media presence is a masterstroke, as it instead pulls attention towards their beguiling brand of psych. Through rigorous touring, blistering live shows and an air of intrigue, Butch Kassidy have built quite the cult following.

Tonight’s debut headline set at East London’s dingy The Glove that Fits proves just why they can expect to emulate the ascent of those aforementioned artists.

Bathed in a red hue and flanked by plumes of smoke that sit at the venues low ceiling, Butch Kassidy proceed to hammer out a set of post-rock perfection, complete with cascading drums and punishing guitars that draw comparisons to Brontide and early And So I Watch You From Afar. The ambient instrumental sections in tonight's performance perfectly juxtapose the frantic wall of noise surrounding them, breaking the set into different acts.

At their loudest, Butch Kassidy are angular and relentless, crushing riffs delicately balancing between precision drumming and progressive basslines. Sole released track ‘Heath’ gets an airing, with its war-cry of “They’re marching forth. And everyone follows,” puncturing the air with each frenzied wail.

This band are a different kind of wildlife. In a live setting they combine frantic audio and sombre visuals that makes for a cerebral experience. Submit to Butch Kassidy and let the experience wash over you. You will be all the better for it.

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Photo: Keira Anee