Everyone moans about an early curfew at a gig, when deep down they’re glad they’ll be home in time to watch Family Guy and fast asleep by midnight – that’s looking to be the case this evening, until Desertscene announce they’ve managed to scrap the 10pm curfew – what heroes, right? Unless you’re one of the few already queuing for the 6.30pm curfew and it’s starting to drizzle, then this lovely gesture feels like a personal attack. Never mind, on with the riffs…

Psych/doom four piece, Morag Tong, finally make an appearance at 8pm – the local lads have been a staple on many a doom line-up across the UK over the past year and enjoy a warm reception from an already buzzing venue. Their bass heavy performance remains rooted firmly on the lower-end of the sonic spectrum, creating a wall shaking atmosphere that is scarce seen in opening acts. Their sound belies a band who are as new as they are and tonight they prove they can more than hold their own alongside some of genre’s greats.

Similarly heavy, but riding a colossal hypnotic wave, co-headliner Monolord’s seismic force of psychedelia is filtered through repetitive, groove-laden guitars, fully entrancing the crowd. The Swedes’ stage presence is enormous, Thomas Jäger’s reverb drenched vocals echoing throughout The Garage, giving the impression that the venue stretches far beyond the space-time continuum. The spellbinding ambience serpentines its way through the audience, as Monolord close their set with anthemic fan favourite ‘Empress Rising’ and the collective sense of feeling “wrung out” can make it easy to forget there’s still another band to go.

Any fatigue is long forgotten as Ufomammut create a powerful sense of tension upon taking the stage and picking up their instruments. Excitable chatter from spectators’ beyond the front few rows makes it difficult at first to fully appreciate the quiet build in atmosphere. However, they are quickly stomped into silence once the monstrous force of ‘Destroyer’ reaches its climax. Their set is only four songs long, however, each and every one is monolithic, rippling in otherworldly effects and devastatingly heavy all at the same time. Tonight Ufomammut celebrate 20 years of sonic madness; from the pulsating sounds of outer space being driven forth from their amps, to the shirts on the merch stand depicting a mammoth being abducted a by UFO (UFO-mammut!) you can tell that, despite the co-headline spot, this is very much their night.

(Review by Angela Davey)