Rabid Bitch Of The North – Stiff Kitten, Belfast – 1 March 2014

When is a launch not a launch?  When you don’t actually have anything to launch… which is exactly what proved to be the case for Rabid Bitch Of The North, when copies of their long-awaited new cassette EP, ‘Defending Two Castles’, failed to make it north of the border from Dublin to Belfast in time for this… well, ‘launch’ gig… But, in the best showbiz tradition the show must go on, and so it did…

Rabid Bitch Of The NorthOpeners Cutter’s brand of deep, dark, sludgy blues immediately has the heads of early comers nodding in appreciation as they deliver a solid set characterized by dense monosyllabic monoliths of bottom-ended sound interjected with periodic, psychedelic meanderings which entrance and hypnotize – or maybe everyone was just wondering if their slightly inebriated frontman would actually manage to hold it together long enough not to fall off the edge of the stage before the end of their set!


“We’re here to play some riffs and sing songs about the Devil,” proclaim Zlatanera – and that’s exactly what they do, delivering a set of songs filled with riffs meatier than the butchers’ counter at the nearby St George’s Market and melodies which get both your feet tapping and head shaking instantaneously.  This is the third time that I have seen Zlatanera live in around six months, and each time they grow in stature and confidence:  hopefully, the imminent release of their debut single will spur them in the direction of social media and help bring their impressive and hard-hitting sound to a deservedly wider audience.

“Our cassettes are still down in Dublin, if you fancy going down and seeing if you can track one down – and let us know if you do!”  proclaimed wild-eyed RBOTN frontman Joe as the soundman did his damnedest to destroy their elaborate stage set (sic) between the epic opener ‘Your Misery’ and the title track of the aforementioned EP which this gig was supposed to be promoting.  However, the minor issue of a geographic separation between the trio and their show’s raison d’être did not prevent the band from delivering yet another set of tight, superbly crafted classically-inspired metal, characterised by raucous riffs and Joe’s one-man multi-harmonic vocals.  Another band who just get better the more I am exposed to their wonderfully insane sound.


Photograph by Paul Verner:  www.livei.co.uk.  View Paul’s full gallery of photographs here:  http://planetmosh.com/rabid-bitch-of-the-northzlataneracutter-stiff-kitten-belfast-01-03-2014/

About Mark Ashby

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