LIVE REVIEW: Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs, Lower Slaughter @ Sage Gateshead (19.04.19) | NARC. | Reliably Informed | Music and Creative Arts News for Newcastle and the North East

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“Ladies and gentlemen. Please take your seats, as the performance by Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs Pigs in Hall 2 is about to begin.” It’s not a statement many ever expected to hear in this of all venues. The gig’s sold out too, so a good number of us are indeed seated.

While previous outings at The Cluny and Star & Shadow have felt significant, this latest homecoming is the cherry atop the quintet’s victory lap; the final, and biggest, date of a largely sold out nationwide tour. It’s certainly a very different type of show from what we’re used to witnessing in Hall 2, and while a tad surreal it’s a collision of worlds which thrills throughout. Predictably, the onslaught sounds utterly massive – and though I for one still prefer 2017’s Feed The Rats, the songs from last year’s breakout album King of Cowards often take on a life of their own on the live stage. Standout Gloamer, for instance, morphs from stop-start beginnings into monolithic din comprehensively eclipsing its recorded counterpart, while the gargantuan Shockmaster threatens to grind to a premature halt, so sluggish are its leaden, sludge-monster riffs.

It’d be remiss not to mention openers Lower Slaughter, who primed the audience – and the room’s sound system – with a terrific opening slot. Affiliates of Pigsx7 vocalist Matt Baty’s Box Records, their showcase of new album Some Things Take Work backed Sinead Young’s forceful yells with a raucous riff-heavy palette, melding thrashy noise with pounding blows of which their tourmates would feel proud. Based between Brighton and Glasgow, the quartet are on an upward curve of their own, and on tonight’s evidence that trajectory may yet have some way to run.

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