Bo Gritz // Polevaulter, Crofters Rights, 15/02/23

There’s always a worry that the music you once loved many years ago might have lost its edge after a dormant spell, but if there were ever any doubts about Bo Gritz making a grand return after a five-year hiatus, then they were certainly dispelled when they descended upon Crofters Rights as part of their recent string of dates.

Showcasing some of the first morsels of new music that the band have been working on in that time, the London noise-rockers proved that they were still the same fearsome force they had previously established themselves to be. With plenty of snarl and bursts of abrasion throughout, their show ended up being one of the most enjoyable ways to commit myself to a bout of midweek tinnitus.

Coming in tow were support act Polevaulter, an equally intense affair with emotions riding high. The Leeds duo were fresh off the back of the release of their Content EP and in fine form, proving themselves to be equally proficient as merchants of noise as Bo Gritz were, but with a far more industrial flavour to their work. The sheer vigour was palpable from the start, with their vocalist making frequent journeys from behind his MPC station to bellow into the crowd of perturbed faces or to sit slumped on the drum riser, head in hands. A truly powerful opener, but far from one for the faint of heart.

While it could have been perceived as an impossible feat, Bo Gritz somehow managed to turn the dial up another notch in all aspects; noises being pushed to their absolute limit and their somewhat terrifying presence much coarser than their support. For the majority of the set, frontman and guitarist Finn Holland was explosive, throwing himself around viciously and strangling the ugliest discordant sounds imaginable from his guitar, while bassist Benjamin Salt and drummer Max Golding remained steadfast, equipped with instruments like their artillery. Riding high off the back of ‘Observes and Selects’, their recent single for Glasshouse Recordings, there was little to no holding back from Bo Gritz, and now having experienced their return in both studio and live form, it’s clear that there’s plenty of life in the old dog yet.

Words & Photos: Reuben Cross

Bo Gritz’ latest single ‘Observes and Selects’ is out now via Glasshouse Recordings. You can listen to the track or purchase it through Bandcamp. Polevaulter’s new ‘Content’ EP is also out now and can also be streamed and purchased via Bandcamp.

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