Brainwash Festival, Leeds, 1st November 2009 Pt 1: Her Name is Calla

You could be forgiven for expecting that their recent European tour might have left Her Name is Calla a little weary of performing and of the material, particularly the songs that were being played live before the recording of ‘The Heritage.’ But then, Her Name is Calla aren’t a band who are happy to churn out the songs and declare them finished, which is why tonight’s opener, ‘Motherfucker! It’s Alive and Bleeding’ sounds rather different from both the record and previous live shows. The new arrangement sees the composition twist and turn and explore new directions en route to an exhilarating climax.

The rest of the five-track set also suggests the band is, if anything, tighter than ever and reinvigorated. There’s even a new song, ‘Pour More Oil.’ Although it appeared in demo form on the ultra-limited ‘A Blood Promise’ CD / DVD set, the bones of the track have been fleshed out in spectacular fashion. It’s when the band are producing these monumental walls of noise that it becomes evident just how each member contributes something essential to the overall sound, from the low-slung bass sound to the textured strings and brass.

They close with a devastating rendition of ‘New England,’ and while the battery of percussion that used to feature has been reduced to Thom battering tribal rhythms  on a floor tom, the sonic assault is as forceful as ever, with everything collapsing into a speaker-shredding squall of feedback.

Ultimately, a triumphant performance that reminded me exactly what it was that made me like Her Name is Calla in the first place.

Don’t forget, there’s always more of the same (only different) at

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