Spread across seven weeks throughout October and November, I had eight gigs in my diary. Avalanche Party at Hyde Park Book Club was the final one of those eight. And it wasn’t what I anticipated. More energy, more crowd engagement, less of a cult-like atmosphere — that’s what I’d have imagined. But the dedicated fans among the crowd didn’t seem too fazed by the lack of interaction that I, personally, would expect from an intimate-venue gig, so part of me was a bit disillusioned by it all.
It started off well, though. Naturally, I emerged partway through one of the supports. Dead Naked Hippies had taken to the stage and captivated everyone. The almost mime-style dancing of frontwoman, Lucy, had a sort of spellbinding appeal, and her flash of short, bright red hair blended into the lighting seamlessly. Each one of their tracks was heavy, tough and well put-together, which is one of the reasons I’ve booked to go to Rifffest in January — seeing a full set of theirs would be pretty sweet.
By contrast, the slow emergence of the full Avalanche Party outfit had a less than commanding effect on me. But the whimsically hypnotic, fluid movements from lead guitarist, Jared, were unusually luring. By the time he’d made the stage, black cowboy hat (could’ve been a Stetson but I wasn’t there to assess wardrobes) and all, the rest of the band was there, too. Bassist, Joe, was the only member to properly thank the crowd for attending, while frontman, Jord, did his own thing, arms mostly raised. You could tell he was concentrating on his own image throughout, though he never made eye contact with anything but the back wall — even when he entered the crowd to hammer a guitar solo.
The slightly unorthodox showmanship of it all didn’t entirely detract from their bloody great music, though. They played various new offerings from debut album, ‘24 Carat Diamond Trephine’, alongside the total hits of ‘Howl’ and ‘I’m So Wet’. Unsurprisingly, another crowd-pleaser was ‘Rebel Forever’.
It was one of the more interesting gigs I’ve been to in 2019, and it topped off the seven-week stint nicely.