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Wooden Shjips and Plankton Wat @Doug-Fir-Lounge, Portland (USA) - 16/01/14 Live Report

© Hunter Gatherer

It’s a brisk chilly Portland night but no matter, we Psychedelic fanatics don’t dress for the weather! We dress for the band that’s imminently rocking the house. In this case, Plankton Wat and Wooden Shjips; one obscure, one quite renowned in the indie circuit.


Plankton Wat is a two piece group and the dynamics of their sound is quite astoundingly massive for a duo. Guitarist Dewey Mahood of Eternal Tapestry has some very obvious experience playing solo guitar and harvesting the guitar’s potential for all it’s worth. Each song of theirs boasted elaborately conducted, intimate wandering crescendos that eventually exploded across the room. Such well thought out instrumentation and the drummer was the guitar’s well placed and powerful punctuation. It was a noise junky’s delight. Some of their pieces were very ambient and easy going, others offered a Stoner Rock crunch. It was very operatic, sans the tenor.


I was truly delighted by Wooden Shjips and their Kraut Rock grooves, featuring basslines so sharp they could slice through solid bone, the lion’s roar of guitar echoed throughout, and the keyboarding; sharp and reminiscient of 60′s Garage. I grew envious of the silver haired rockers–wizards of sound. It just goes to show that true Rock & Roll maturity comes with age. I lost track of time and space as they played on. The timber walls of the Doug Fir seemed to vanish before me as I was cascaded by the projector lights. I was becoming one with their groove.

At one particular point, I broke free of the influence the music had over me to check in on my friend and elder psychedelic guru Malcolm, standing far back on the edge of the venue. Malcolm stood with eyes closed, letting the wall of sound wash over him like a baptism. Every single piece of music tickled him like a child. He truly is a man that knows and embraces shamelessly his passion; music and more specifically; Psychedelia. It was here, observing the exuberant smile on Malcolm’s face, that it became crystal clear to me: this music is vital because it takes the listener to another place entirely. It’s medicine for those desperate to experience everything all at once.

Report made by Hunter Gatherer/2014
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