Gig Review: Bossk / Outlander / Lung – The Globe, Cardiff (7th September 2022)

I often wonder what people who don’t follow hard rock and more importantly heavy metal would think if they stumbled into a gig like this. The crowd ranged from younger moshers who wore their freshly patched cut-offs with pride, alt-metal fans who attend the likes of 2000 Trees and Arctangent and who appreciate a good craft ale, and gnarly scuzzed up metal heads. Regardless, all present (and well done for a decent Wednesday night turnout) were there to worship the riff.

Lung (c) Paul Hutchings

“We always thought that no-one turned up for the support band” says Joseph Sewell, bassist and lead vocalist for local band Lung who have the privilege of opening the evening. Sewell was proved pleasantly wrong. Whilst there were people still making their way into the old cinema, the 100 or so gathered provided positive feedback for the Welsh trio’s opening heft. Thick, fuzzy riffs cascaded from above, whilst Sewell and drummer Danny Hume linked to provide a thunderous cacophony as the foundation of their songs. Sewell’s vocals are snarled and spat out with real venom, but the savagery is masked by the band’s devotion to the guitar of the true dark lord, Tony Iommi. Pushing the limits of their set, the cheeky chaps tried to squeeze an extra track in at the end. Brave but ultimately doomed to failure, Lung showed enough nerve to ensure that their set lingered long in the memory.

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Outlander (c) Paul Hutchings

Main support for the tour were Brummies Outlander. Their communication was non-existent, but this was the type of gig where chatter from the band was almost frowned upon. It was the experience that was most important. Outlander’s blend of shoegaze and doom shouldn’t work but it does. Hugely. Over their 40-minute set the quartet focused entirely on transporting the audience to another dimension, with the occasional nod the total sum of their acknowledgement. And yet, it wasn’t an issue. Their sonic waves wrapping tightly around the crowd, all eyes closed and nodding in harmony. By the end of the set, their latest release “The Valium Machine” was on the list of many in the audience.

Bossk (c) Paul Hutchings

Like Outlander, headliners Bossk are Arctangent alumni. With the audience swelled by several latecomers, the Kent outfit emerged from the swirling dry ice clouds and proceeded to deliver another ferocious combination of concrete splitting heaviness combined with some real contrasting melancholic balance. Veterans of over 15 years of the circuit, this contrast works majestically. Vocalist Sam Marsh only appears when needed and then unleashes a delivery so intense that you wonder if he needs to lie down off stage to recover.

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They say that watching some bands can be akin to a religious experience. This can truly be applied to Bossk, whose all-enveloping style and switch from crushingly heavy to ethereal gentleness drew every expression and reaction possible. Swirling headbanging, strange dance moves and even some intense pit action during “Atom Smasher” all emerged as the feverish climax was sought. Suddenly, the outro tape kicked in and Bossk left the stage. It was over in a flash, a testimony to the band and their music. It was indeed spiritual.

Bossk: facebook | twitter | instagrambandcamp

Outlander: facebook

Lung: facebook | bandcamp

Photos by Paul Hutchings

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