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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)

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

Classic Rock features editor Polly is an all-round editor, organiser and writer of regular pieces and longer reads (including new band coverage). Loves cooking, southern rock, Steven Wilson, and reading about unusual people.