The Skull Defekts at Swn 2011

Swedish psych-drone-rock for piece The Skull Defekts put on a brilliant show to end the second night of Swn at the Buffalo Bar. Opening their set in complete darkness (unfortunately one inconsiderate photographer chooses this moment to use his flash, blinding us all) with their hypnotic percussionist leading, beating out almost tribal rhythms on big plastic bottles before he is joined by the drums and (Daniel Higgs of Lungfish's)guitar, it's a looping, ritualistic number made all the more spellbinding as their fourth member dances in an uninhibited fashion stage front, until joining in with a second guitar, playing odd discordant notes over the top.

The band all play like they're in a world of their own, caught up with their own noise as is the audience watching, moving in unison. (Even to the point that their front man steps back off the small stage while wrapped up in his playing, eyes shut, luckily he rights himself before falling). Their tunes are not only hypnotic but at times brutally heavy and backed sometimes by scratchy and distorted noises from their percussionists table, they make even the most complex riffs seem easy and the two guitarists share vocal duties with well practiced ease.

Not only do they reel us all in musically but they are also a disarmingly charming bunch of characters, making the whole packed venue laugh many times during their set and chatting to and answering questions from the crowd, one of the funniest exchanges when someone asks the front man where he got his shoes, resulting in him removing one so he can show even those at the back what it looks like and saying that the band (all dressed in matching black shirts and trousers) all like to look good on stage. It is one of the best sets of the festival - a completely engaging and impressive performance.