The Golden Grass live review – London, The Black Heart

Psychedelic Brooklyn rock trio The Golden Grass shake up midweek audience.

The Golden Grass, live at The Black Heart, London
(Image: © Alison Clarke)

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Ahh, the late Wednesday night, relatively-unknown-band pub gig; populated by a modest cluster of existing fans, nodding bystanders and mouthy drunk people. It’s not the most forgiving of environments, especially for a band so far from their home crowd.

Undeterred, the Golden Grass stride on stage looking like the love-children of Blue Cheer and all things pre-1973. Guitarist Professor Plum Brandy (Michael Rafalowich to his mum) shuts up a heckler with a couple of tasty licks, and they set about transforming the Black Heart from dingy boozer into a rich kaleidoscope of classic psychedelia and riffy 70s rock.

Get It Together – a standout from new album Coming Back Again – grooves away in the manner of The Who via 60s New York. Heavier, Black Sabbath-ish riffs grow into spacey jams (the hooky Sugar N’ Spice). Vocals are dominated by Rafalowich and drummer Adam ‘The Golden Goose’ Kriney, and all three band members have lead-singer voices, making for first-class harmonies. But it’s their capacity for swinging rock’n’roll that gives them serious charm. Rafalowich slurs a slightly acid-y ‘I love each and every one of you’; Kriney beams and thrashes his kit. By the time they’ve played past curfew and the house lights force them off stage, nobody wants them to leave. Nice going for a Wednesday night.

Polly Glass
Deputy Editor, Classic Rock

Polly is deputy editor at Classic Rock magazine, where she writes and commissions regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage), and has interviewed rock's biggest and newest names. She also contributes to Louder, Prog and Metal Hammer and talks about songs on the 20 Minute Club podcast. Elsewhere she's had work published in The Musician, delicious. magazine and others, and written biographies for various album campaigns. In a previous life as a women's magazine junior she interviewed Tracey Emin and Lily James – and wangled Rival Sons into the arts pages. In her spare time she writes fiction and cooks.