Melvins / Jon Spencer

Stylus, Leeds University, Leeds on Friday 26 October 2018

Jon Spencer of the Blues Explosion opens the night tonight at the early time of 7:45pm. His garage rock blues style is eventuated by the fact his right hand man (or the fellow on this right side) is banging hammers onto dustbins in time to the drummer behind him.  This gives a unique sound, trash metal indeed.

Jon Spencer

The Melvins also have an early set, appearing an hour after Jon took to the stage, waving a whole host of shaped axes about. There’s little conversing with the crowd, who were large for Jon’s set too. The Melvins do have a rotating deal with bassists and guitarists; Buzz Osbourne and Dale Grover being the only constants. Touring now with the long lasting Montesano duo are Redd Kross’ bassist Steven Shane MacDonald, who’s band toured with the Melvins in the UK last year, and Jeff ‘JP’ Pinkus, bassist with the Butthole Surfers. This dynamic of two bassists brings an added depth to the Melvins, whereas in the past they have had two drummers when teaming up with tour buddies Big Business. This also allows for more songs in the set from the various members…


‘What They Say’ is a Redd Kross cover, and ‘Moving To Florida’ is a Butthole Surfers tune. The rest of the set features many covers, from David Bowies’ ‘Saviour Machine’ to ‘Stop’ by James Gang. There’s also ‘Sway’ by The `Rolling Stones’.

‘Don’t Forget To Breath’ is a reoccurring funk sludgefest with a handy message, and the only tune from the new album ‘Pinkus Abortion Technician, written by Jeff. There’s only the amazingly heavy metal ‘Honey Bucket’ representing the album ‘Houdini’. There’s more chilled music in the form of ‘Let It All Be’. My favourite the drum break-filled ‘The Kicking Machine’ from ‘Nude in Boots’ makes an early appearance.


There’s a chance to sing happy birthday to Pinkus as a cake is brought on stage, just before Dale Grover signs the band off via his microphone headset and then comes centre stage to sing ‘So Long, Farewell’ (Sound of Music style) solo to the crowd. No encore but due to a club night the gig has a strict 10pm finish. Good for me as I can rush off to another gig afterwards and catch the end, or even get the last train home.

Some in attendance may have no idea what’s happening, some do; some like me are here for the tight tight riffs and stomach moving bass alone. Melvins never disappoint, and just let the music do the talking. Hopefully they’ll be back same time next year.

Sesame Street Meat
At a Crawl
Saviour Machine (David Bowie cover)
The Kicking Machine
What They Say (Redd Kross cover)
Stop (James Gang cover)
Moving to Florida (Butthole Surfers cover)
Edgar the Elephant
Sway (The Rolling Stones cover)
Let It All Be
Honey Bucket
The Bit
Don't Forget to Breathe
Onions Make the Milk Taste Bad
The Talking Horse
Evil New War God
Eye Flys
So Long, Farewell


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article by: Danielle Millea

photos by: Danielle Millea

published: 30/10/2018 11:57

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