The Southgate house in Newport Kentucky is probably one of the most historic venues in the country, and not because of any band who has performed there but because it was one of the building blocks of America. The building was built in 1814 and has had guests such as Abe Lincoln, who have stayed overnight in the building. John Thompson, the inventor of the Tommy Gun, was born in the building as well. The last decade they renovated the house into a concert venue making it arguably the most distinct venue in the country. The venue features two different live rooms, the main stage capacity is about 500 where the loft, which is like an 18th century library, holds about 100 people. Newport Kentucky is one of the few places where freedom still reigns strong in this country, allowing smoking if the band see it permissible. The Black Angels played in the venue the day before their last release, last Sunday they returned in full form to play to an even bigger crowd than previously.
History is something The Black Angels are well aware of, uprooting from one of the most historical music towns in the world; Austin, Texas – they stem from the psychedelic reverberations of the sixties. They are known for memorable shows featuring guests like Roky Ericson and Anton Newcombe; they have also opened for A-List acts such as Queens of The Stone Age and The Black Keys.
As they walked on stage and started the first song, beer and strobe lights filled the air as the crowd got into a heavy groove of dark toned guitar and reverbed vocals. The drummer Stephanie has a signature progression, which nearly all their songs consist of. The show went on flawlessly and the set consisted of songs scattered from all of their albums. The crowd pleaser for most Black Angels show is the song “Black Grease” from the album ‘Passover’, it’s a track that’s guaranteed to make your head bob. One thing that you find rare in a lot of the modern psychedelic music out there was the sheer joy all the members had playing there. The Black Angels are one of the most personable bands out their today, even after playing to over 500 people they signed every record anyone wanted them to and they did it with a smile.
The Black Angels released their 3rd album titled Phosphene Dream in September of last year and are curators of the annual Austin Psyche Fest which features the best psychedelic rock from all over the world for 3 days. They are currently touring with the Suuns on the east coast leg and will finish in the west coast with another Ourvinyl favorite – The Sleepy Sun – so be sure to check them out.