Photo Credit: Christopher Joshua Benton
Turning the Cake Shop into an impromptu UGA class reunion, the Bambara boys bought together a legion of Athenians and NY locals for a packed out headlining show, rounded out with support from Dusted, Rarechild and ’80s post-punk revivalists Rituals.
Before the show began, women passed around torn pieces of bar napkins for earplugs. I’m not quite sure if the MacGuyver’d jerry-rig worked, because as soon as Blaze Bateh’s steam engine drum roll jammed in, those same chicks raised their hands to their ears for cover. This is to say that the Bambara guys are still as LOUD, in-the-red and noisy as ever.
As usual, once the boys locked into their groove, little could kill the momentum despite a few technical hiccups (a non-responsive whammy pedal; lead singer Reid Bateh’s guitar string popped almost as soon as the show began). Trading in their dirty, Nick Cave-inflected noise-gaze for Southern, nice-guy charm, the guys offered brief respite between each jam, swapping jokes with the audience and setting up effects pedals.
In all, they played through six songs during their breathless, high-energy 30-minute set. By the end of it, Reid threw down his guitar, as feedback and vocal loops echoed over the loud speaker. It was bit like getting hit with a Mack truck: once you wake up, ears ringing, you wonder: “What now?”
I’m still not sure, but I do know what’s next: One of their last NY shows for a hot minute, the trio is prepped to support equally loud, earplug-raisers A Place to Bury Strangers throughout their three-week European tour.
Until Bambara’s next jaunt through Athens, you can hear DREAMVIOLENCE on their Bandcamp. The album was recorded in the band’s Bushwick, Brooklyn basement and is being put out on white vinyl via Arrowhawk Records, the first release from Athens PR maven Alyssa DeHayes.
Check out photos from the show in our slideshow.
Like what you just read? Support Flagpole by making a donation today. Every dollar you give helps fund our ongoing mission to provide Athens with quality, independent journalism.