The Seabright Arms, London
Words & Pics by Captain Stavros
Suppose one, much like you, were to reminisce about what’s synonymous with Portugal. Rarely would one’s thoughts fall upon a Captain Lou Albano lookalike donning a ‘Black Wizards’ t-shirt with a guitar resting across their barrel chest as it’s furiously struck. Enter José Roberto Gomes of Solar Corona. We had the distinct pleasure of experiencing what a soul might feel like whilst fleeing the human body in the filthy basement of a pub with a too-low ceiling this fine bank holiday past. If you, like us, have been living under a rock for the past nine years, you might not’ve been aware of this interdimensional cabal of musical warlocks joined by Lorr No (Nuno Loureiro) hitching a ride as their Dubmechanic. Let’s dip into the inky ooze that was this night’s spectacular performance.
Like Tesla’s Ludicrous Mode and the gig was blast-off, 0-60 in 2.3 seconds. José chimes in at the start of a largely instrumental set, 'this is our last tour so let's make it good'. The other two times went something like this ‘this’ll be our last song’ and ‘we really have to go and catch our train!’ It was later confirmed after their set that they indeed had no immediate plans to tour for the rest of 2023 and that the train was leaving the station (not a euphemism). Turn that frown upside down kiddos, there’s still a healthy back catalogue of tunes at your disposal. The latest of which is their new album, Pace, and it absolutely slaps. We’d recommend ‘Thrust’, our favourite off the album and of the set.
Largely described as ‘psyche-rock’, whatever that means anymore, there were certainly elements of ‘80s hair metal, metal-metal, and prog-rock meets dark wave floating around. The sounds were as relentless as the flashing lights in their faces. It sincerely comes as a great surprise that none of the band members stroked out to the flashing lights. There were contortion back-bending bridges a-plenty from guitarist Rodrigo Carvalho but we couldn’t take our eyes off Jorge Esteves who played the drums like a creature stirring a cauldron. Not to mention José’s little moustache dancing between his upper lip and nose like a magical pickle. Throughout the set we kept checking our earplugs were still in because the sound was so -mega-. My mates would look over so often and see my mouth moving, laugh and then yell, ‘WHAT?!’ Tinnitus-ville, population: everyone at this gig.
The gig was excellent, but the slow tracks dragged if we’re being honest, but on the flipside great opportunity to hit the head. We’d have to say whoever designed the light show might’ve needed a re-up for their healthy dose of Ritalin as it was completely bonkers, totally unhinged and a complete distraction. It’s hard to understand how they played through but that just speaks to the mechanical mastery of the troupe. The Guardian called this band, ‘ones to watch’, we’d agree. The anticipation before their set, and after Bloke’s, was palpable. Best described as a band who’re like the back wheels of a car sliding out on a greasy roundabout; terrifying, but once you get the hang of it absolutely thrilling.