On their 40th anniversary tour and making a rare visit to the UK, Melvins performed a setlist of favourites from 8 out of their 29 studio albums. The band is still made up of its constant trio of founder and songwriter Buzz Osborne (vocals, guitar), early band member Dale Crover (drums, backing vocals) and 2015 recruit, Steven Shane McDonald (bass, backing vocals).

Entering comically to a-ha’s ‘Take On Me’, they started with early material, performing the bass pedal streams of ‘Zodiac’ and whiney guitar of ‘Copache’, from their 1991 ‘Bullhead’ and 1993 ‘Houdini’ albums respectively. Following a cover of The Beatles’ ‘I Want to Hold Your Hand’, Crover then delivered a drum solo introduction to ‘Hammering’ from their most recent studio release, last year’s ‘Bad Mood Rising’, with the band following this up by another track from the same album, the drum clattering ‘Never Say You’re Sorry’.

Their 10-minute track ‘Let It All Be’ was condensed down, hallmarked by its funky bass rhythm to which McDonald danced, before they returned to ‘Bullhead’ with single ‘Your Blessened’ and Buzzo’s metal fretwork. Melvins finished their set on their 1993 single ‘Honey Bucket’ and ‘Revolve’, the latter from 1999’s ‘Stoner Witch’, featuring Buzzo’s reverb guitar solo, and ended on ‘Night Goat’.

Crover then addressed the fans saying there were more of them now than back in 1991 when Melvins first played London and that this was the first time ever that they would do an encore, for which they performed the trudge of fan favourite, ‘Boris’, with Buzzo remaining alone on stage for its stripped back finish. One of the best performances of the year so far.

06/06/23: Melvins @ Electric Ballroom, London.

Photos © Kim Ford.

© Ayisha Khan.