Live Review The Wytches up the muck factor on closing day of Reading 2014

Brighton band are at their grubby best with an opening set on the NME/Radio 1 Stage.

Tired, grubby, unshaven-types that enter Sunday feeling like a trodden-down mess feel less bad for themselves when they happen upon The Wytches. These rough and raw terrors from Brighton look like they’ve stepped straight out of the Thames sewers. Dressed head to toe in all-black, they arrive with a similarly mucky sound, showcasing tracks from their Heavenly Recordings debut ‘Annabel Dream Reader’.

These songs are embraced in an instant. Perhaps it’s the mucky kinship between punters and band that does the trick. Out from the grimy undercurrent and into a smelly tent, The Wytches feel right at home. ‘Wire Frame Mattress’ provokes a post-Midday mosh, mostly thanks to drummer Gianni Honey’s gut-wrenching display - these aren’t just terrifying thuds, they’re a call to arms. Kristian Bell meanwhile likes to perform behind his mop-like head of hair. He’s the perfect frontman given the billing - the gritty darkness to The Wytches’ routine comes from a genuine place, the source of regular so-and-so’a nightmares.

Given time, the set becomes looser and more unhinged. When unpredictable, these guys become a bigger, more enticing prospect. Words are barked out until their “dignity collapses,” and by that point the relatively hygienic are converted to a sea of writhing muck.

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