I am prepared for a No Age show. Or at least I think I am. I have heard about their ferocious live reputation, Dean Spunt and Randy Randall melting the eardrums of everyone in attendance with their incredibly loud drums /guitar combo, sending punters home covered in sweat and with the sound of tinnitus in their delicate ears. How loud can it be though? I’ve seen My Bloody Valentine do their 20 min pure noise segments, it can’t be that loud can it?

Turns out it really can be that loud. That loud and that thrilling. For the duration of a No Age live show, all subtlety that customises their albums goes out the window, and Spunt (drums and vocals – I LOVE a singing drummer) and Randall (guitar) just absolutely go for it, with the volume turned up to way, way over 11. Drawing mostly from their new album An Object, the duo tear through song after song, barely stopping to take breath or let the busy crowd get their bearings. It’s a masterclass in sustaining an almost punishing level of intensity and energy. Opener ‘Commerce, Comment. Commence’ lulls the attended throngs into a false sense of security with it’s meandering, delicate opening before Randall let’s rip a squall of guitar and all hell breaks loose pretty much without let up for the next hour or so.

‘C’Mon Stimmung’ is incredible, Spunt bashing away at the skins on his drums whilst yelping about ‘not believing his eyes’, the crowd starting a mosh pit down the front, banging their heads in a not too dissimilar fashion to Randall on stage, who’s making some glorious, unholy noise with a guitar throughout the song. So much so that my companion for the evening asks (or rather, shouts at me) ‘are they using a backing track?’…which they most certainly are not, Randall’s just making his guitar do things that sound like there’s 8 men up there thrashing out the riffs. ‘Lock Box’ is such a dumb, fun track on record that it would be impossible to make it sound anything but brilliant live, and it doesn’t disappoint here. I’m taken aback by how well all the new material is received by the crowd, as there isn’t too much old stuff in this set, but everyone is lapping up every single song.

That said, when the sublime ‘Glitter’ from their second album ‘Everything In Between’ gets an airing, the atmosphere amongst the crowd steps up even further, as soon as the drum intro kicks in everyone is pogo-ing around, heads down, shouting lyrics back at the band. ‘Fever Dreaming’ is similarly received, during which the thrash of Randall’s guitar seems particularly potent, and looking back, is probably the moment I think my ears began to wish they were at home watching Question Time. This was an aural assault of a show, beating my hearing into some kind of blissful submission, and I loved it. No Age really are that loud, and long may they continue to be.

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