Is Bliss @ The Sunflower Lounge, 4th September 2019

After a summer sitting in fields, drinking warm beer and sleeping in tents, it was time to return to the comfortable venues that we know and love.

On Wednesday evening it was to the Sunflower Lounge for a headline show from Is Bliss with support coming from Outlander, Exhailers and Spit.

Following a very short opening set from Spit, featuring covers of both The Stooges and The Hives, Birmingham’s Exhailers took to the stage in front of a very respectable crowd for a Wednesday evening. A fantastic choice of support act, the three piece flitted between being melodically innovative and captivating to heavily intimidating with a flick of a switch.

Next to take to the stage were slow rock outfit Outlander, whose performance was much more absorbing and enchanting than the previous bands. Absent of some of the pop sensibilities of the other bands on the bill, the group required much more thought and concentration to find enjoyment.

Hailing from the sunny shores of Portsmouth, the evening’s headliners gave the Birmingham crowd a set that certainly blew any cobwebs out of their ears. Impressively loud throughout, the group treated the crowd to a number of cuts from latest release ‘Strange Communion’. Having a wonderful talent able to transition between psychedelic slow drowning tones to full on rock band is something that worked extremely well in such a small venue. Creating a sound not too dissimilar from the ‘B-Town’ crop of bands such as Swim Deep and Jaws, the group were clearly always going to be well received in the second city.

Talking was kept to a minimum throughout, with little to no production, however the quality of the tunes was enough to carry the band’s 50-minute set. Bliss.

Reviewer: Dan Earl

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