All Them Witches at Koko, London - live review

Nashville’s next big thing stretch out

TODO alt text

“It’s a long one,” says All Them Witches bassist and vocalist Charles Michael Parks Jr halfway through his band’s set tonight. “So sit back, grab yourself a bag of popcorn.”

He’s talking about a blissfully elongated workout that merges two songs, Internet and Blood And Sand, but he might just as well be talking about the whole show.

In the case of All Them Witches, a long one is no bad thing. The Nashville four-piece sit outside of time anyway. Their heavy metal lava lamp jams are simultaneously 1970 (the undulating Allman Brothers organ grooves, the Floydian guitar ripples, the snippet of The Doors’ The End amid the structured chaos that ushers in Swallowed By The Sea) and 2017 (you can hear them fighting to keep post-millennial dread at arm’s length, and mostly winning).

There’s not a whole lot of movement on stage, so it’s better to shut your eyes and get carried along by it all, letting the likes of Talisman and Alabaster seep into the canyons of your brain, and the white beams and blue searchlights make patterns on the inside of your eyelids. Nor is Parks much bothered with banter. “I’d like to thank you guys in the middle for dancing,” he says at one point. “And you guys at the side.”

But no one comes to All Them Witches for sparkling repartee. They’re here to be led by the hand for two hours through different dimensions before the lights go up and reality intrudes. On that front, it’s job done.