In the week in which astronomers discovered so-called “Earth 2.0” (a planet orbiting the Goldilocks Zone of a star the same size as the sun) it seems apt that in the spirit of such sequels I was fortunate enough to attend an event of comparable magnitude; the second of this year’s ROAR concerts, “2 Loud 2 Live.”
For those of you who are distressed about my lack of posting these past few weeks, of which I am sure there are many, I can console and excuse myself by announcing that I am 10,000 words in to a new project I am working on. It’s sci-fi. I’ll leave it to you for the furious speculation and torrent of fan-theory on the various Reddit forums which I am sure are set up for the purpose by now.
Primarily I was there to see new upstarts in the local scene, Nacho Heap. Unfortunately I was unable to attend their debut gig due to work, but, having swiftly progressed to a later slot on the bill, I was lucky this time and caught the start of their set.
I access the Sailing Club via steps parallel to the building’s façade, nimbly negotiating my way past the overspill smokers. I’m greeted by a cramped reception area where I ask where tickets may be purchased. Guided upstairs I arrive into the action; a Viking longhall with bar at one side and stage at the other. The ceiling is low, the atmosphere is close and hot. I can’t see the band as we’re all on a level. Although this is irritating in the short term, as the die-hard Chair fans filter out it also means that I can be right up close. Whatever we experience, it will be collective; band and fans, the barrier blurred.
We begin with a post-punk cover of Taylor Swift’s Trouble; vocalist Haley Duncan carrying the song, backed by a well-rehearsed rhythm section, with particular emphasis on Robert Norris’s drumming – essential for the dubstep triplets. Nacho Heap then gave a metallic sheen to the Calvin Harris hit, Summer with excellent guitar work from Michael and Orrin.
The band then paused to announce that their next tune would be one of their own, a tribute to the snack which inspired their unusual name entitled Dorito. From what I could hear, it seemed to centre on the protagonist’s internal conflict with their desire to eat all of the nachos jarring against the allocated time in which the ingestion was to take place.
Perhaps the band’s final song was their best. Again it was an original number; cool, yes, and not cheesy. This gave the chance for the band to show off their dynamic capabilities, dramatically shifting through the gears to thrilling effect. The crowd were won over by that point, enthusiastic nodding giving way to all out headbanging, and soon the beginnings of a mosh pit broke out.
All in all, Nacho Heap left me impressed. Perhaps they lacked the raw energy of their natural predecessor Hybrid Constellation, but their sheer technical ability was astonishing. Definitely ones to watch.