I read a quote today about music and it seems to sum up the performance of Hogchoker at Yuyintang on Friday night. Music should comfort the disturbed and disturb the comfortable. I had never seen or heard of Hogchoker before seeing them last night. I didn’t even know who would be playing at YYT when I entered that hallowed hall with my friend Boogie. I left the venue thoroughly disturbed but in such a magnificent way.
After arriving late to the venue Boogie and I ventured upstairs to deposit our coats in a locker and we were both a bit surprised to see a couple of monks wandering around in the green room.
After a giggle and a few photos, we wandered downstairs to enjoy the show. And what a show it was. The hooded maestros began their set with Roll Up. I was stunned. Some Gregarian chanting soon merged into ska/reggae/punk beats with the wonderfully gritty voice of Simon Jackson holding it all together. His singing is a cross between Black Francis of the Pixies and Dave Graney the Australian singer songwriter. It was high energy poetry on meth.
The musicians were all very tight with Tom Brodie thumping on bass, Matt Sanders grinding on guitar and Doug Andrews dishing it out on drums. Jackson alternates between singing and playing the saxophone and it works so well.
After a few tunes the guys ditched their monk robes to reveal prison jumpsuits ala Orange is the New Black. The costume change was fitting as they sang the cracking tune Getaway Car. The feverish energy of the tune mesmerized the crowd who were bopping and moshing with pure joy.
Costume change three saw the band wearing their latest merch T-shirts displaying the new album, “Roll Up for the Crazy Sound of Hogchoker.” The manic energy was gripping the crowd. Basket Case and Shake that Ass had everyone dancing with glee and of course shaking their asses.
Finally, Jackson encouraged the crowd to get their kits off and he and other band members stripped down to their grundies for the encore which included the wonderful voice of Siyan Lu. She sang the song Lipstick which was a fitting end to a magnificent show.
Breaking sweat and giving it all. The Hopchokers were a true delight to see live. I hope to be thoroughly disturbed by them again sometime soon.