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Live Review: CONAN @ Rough Trade / Nottingham

Conan Gig @ rough trade March 20th, 2024


There was an eerie calm feeling as I entered Rough Trade; I was greeted by a dedicated and well-seasoned crowd, patiently waiting for the grind sludge onslaught to begin. I went to this gig alone to guarantee my full attention with no distractions. I wanted to fully immerse myself within my surroundings and feel everything that was going to happen around me.


I spoke to all the bands billed that night and everyone was so warm and welcoming - it was a pleasure talking to each of you and want to thank you all for your time!


The first band to play was a 5-piece called Burial Rot. The heavy guitar riffs and meaty sounding bass rolled through which felt like thunder and bolts of lighting, every time the cymbals crashed, and the kick drum shattered! Personally, the vocalist stole the show, bellowing out his lyrics which came straight from within his core. In short this was a HEAVY set which transformed the initial calm into a storm.  


Swamp Coffin followed with the filthiest sludge set! This 3-piece hails from Rotherham and were the highlight of the show for me. I felt like I was being dragged through mud when listening to this lot. The machine gun shots from the drummer coupled with the heavy bass lines made my ribs vibrate from within. They have a new release due to hit the airwaves around Autumn this year and I can only imagine it will be a total assault on the senses! I cannot wait for this! Their songs on the upcoming release are “Know you’re worthless” and “This was always going to end in war”

....Keep those ears to the ground folks.


The final support act was a band called Wallowing and they were an unexpected treat! These guys were an interesting bunch of characters and came on stage in a mist of black and green fog all dressed in beekeeper outfits. Their sounds engulfed the whole venue and almost made the room come to a complete standstill. It felt chaotic with an utter sense of dread, certainly, a vibe which everyone appeared to share. I can see these guys certainly becoming BIG!


Last but no means least Conan, the headliner of the event. The band from Liverpool has been on the scene since 2006. I had a brief chat with vocalist, Jon, who spoke of their latest release “DIY series, issue 1”. This is a musical triumph, from start to finish, with a beastly Fudge Tunnel cover called “Hate Song.” I excitedly asked Jon a few questions, one being which bands had influenced them over the years. Jon mentioned a few names, but the main ones were Somatics, Black Cobra and of course Fudge Tunnel. I also asked what he had been listening to of late. Surprisingly, he described bumping along to some ‘old’ techno! This was personally very well received as I am also a techno connoisseur so i had to give him some suggestions to check out.


All in all, this is the best gig of 2024 I have had the opportunity to attend and write about and I am excited for what else is waiting for me soon….

Words by Sophie Alexandra

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