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Live Band Review: Comfort at the Brickyard

The sibling duo ‘Comfort’ came to Carlisle last weekend offering their unabashed queerness, joyfulness, playfulness and their ‘rage in full force’.

The band were also joined by some seriously accomplished local based acts: The Groove Shaman, keV Bovin and Robots with Souls.

The Groove Shaman undertook opening the show with their ever electrifying, soothing and grooving fresh techno and deep house that helps cleanse the mind and body (as you would expect from a shaman) for the night of revelry ahead.

Throughout the majority of the Groove Shamans set they were sat down which created a laid back atmosphere to enjoy the beats over a chat and a bev but each time getting drawn back to head-bouncing inducing house.

The Groove Shaman vibing during their performance. Photo credit: Seph Santiago.

I have been rattling my brain on the best way to describe the next support act keV Bovin to you all. This is what I came up with:

If you were to kidnap a man, feed him acid and throw him outside the back of Tescos surrounded only by cardboard and musical equipment needed for the sole purpose of creating naughty and heavy D&B and electronic music then you will have the leader of the box cult emerge keV Bovin.

Ludicrous, comical and dutty, Kev indoctrinates the crowd into his world of box person madness which results in a well crafted piece of performance art and the kind of music you would find in the ‘weird’ category of a record shop.

What’s happening? Yeah we don’t know either but we’re loving it.

If you are into chord progressions that itches that part of your brain that makes you want to get lost in heavy drums, tracks like ‘How To Be A Good Boy’ by Robots With Souls is exactly where you’ll find it.

Robots with Souls is a multifaceted one man band who play raw, unfiltered music with influences somewhere between heavy rock and grunge. It is the type of music that hits that sweet spot when it comes to live music with live looping.

The only part where some of their artistry is lost is in the ‘unintelligible’ vocals: a favourite for bands like R.E.M and Pearl Jam. The musicality stands for itself and don’t get us wrong, we could understand some parts but the lyricism got a bit lost along the way.

Robots With Souls protesting against Robots Without Souls on the main stage.

After some really damn inventive support acts, Comfort was ready to take to the mainstage.

Comfort kicked off with some of their unreleased back catalogue in keeping with their blend of industrial yet melodious soundscapes, unrelenting spoken-rap and of course all wrapped up with their strong political and challenging lyricism.

Comforts front woman giving us some empowerment.

It is hard to pinpoint artistic comparisons for Comfort as they are a band drenched in originality.

However, performances of songs from their most recent album ‘What’s Bad Enough?’ such as ‘Shame Shite and Different Lad’ showcased Pixies Surfer Rosa esque vocals from the Scottish duo.

The gender euphoric and genre bending ‘Real Woman’ off their most recent album has influences of Maraudeur in there but with a more hip-hop inspired sound.

Storytelling blended with euphonious and spellbinding tracks such as ‘Wild and Fragile’ alongside striking projected visuals all mixed together to make Comfort stand out as ones to be watched in the queer punk scene - especially with their performance of tracks from their heavier album Not Passing.

Comfort serving some serious moves.

Overall Comfort had the energy and spirit of pure rebellion behind them. Their performances really tapped into your psyche and gave the audience an outlet of self-gratification and have achieved the evolution of punk for queer self-expression.

To make art is to be moved by all factions of it. When it comes to their music, and more specifically their lyricism, musicality and vocals, Comfort gave us all a warming embrace.

They made you feel like no matter your gender, sexuality or if you are just anyone that doesn’t subscribe to the mainstream… you are accepted. Thank you for seeing us, Comfort. We see you.

The visuals being played throughout the gig.

My only negative really is that I wanted the set to be a wee bit longer but that may be something that comes with time.

We can’t wait to see what Comfort and all the support acts do next!

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