I don’t even know where to start with this. Part of the ridiculously brilliant Speedy Wunderground crew (including black midi and Black Country, New Road), Squid are making weird, wild, unpredictable, fascinating music seemingly with no boundaries or conventions, just doing what the fuck they like and seeing what happens. Tonight in Yes’ packed Pink Room, singing drummer (who the hell doesn’t love a singing drummer, they’re the absolute best) Ollie Judge comes out on to stage and dead pan monologues ‘six seconds to the rodeo’ over and over across an ominous, building drone, before the rest of his bandmates join him and smash into a new song that I’m going to title ‘Concrete Island’ because that is the most repeated phrase I could pick up on, and it’s all sorts of brilliant.

What follows is an absolute masterclass in a new band laying down a marker for future incredibleness. Third song in, they toss off their one massive tune that everyone knows, ‘The Cleaner’, a 7 min epic on record that is extended tonight and is about 45% more thrilling than it is on their Town Centre EP, which considering it’s one of the best songs of the year is quite the feat. It’s also by far the most conventional thing they play this evening, which for a twisting, whirling dervish of a track is quite something. The band are exceptional; guitar players play bass, bass players play trumpet, everyone has a go at singing along the way, it’s enough to make you wonder what you’ve done with your life that these lads can just make the most exciting music around on any instrument they care whilst you just stand and admire their brilliance.

The next track is something else. The bass line throbs and meanders all over the shop as Judge repeats over and over in increasing desperation “scrap my teeth out on the floor, I just don’t want it anymore” before a colossal thrash of noise takes over, consuming the entire venue in its ferocity, it’s completely thrilling. Next up is ‘Houseplants’ which is just a shed load of fun over about 10 minutes of false stops and bizarre starts, the trumpet adding an air of decency to an overwhelmingly mad song. Then their two magnum opuses. The first must have been written pretty recently as Judge stands up from his drum kit to confront the crowd with “I didn’t think I’d see myself on the silver screen/ I’m not a psycho taxi driver, JOAQUIN” in reference to the Joker film, before all hell breaks lose behind him. And then there’s something about a documentary film maker and the fact that Easter eggs are cheaper the day after Easter Sunday and I’m so deliriously rapt with everything that’s going on that I lose track of it all and just submit myself to being wildly entertained by this mind fuck of a band.

A brief ‘normal’ structured song appears to finish the set in the excellent ‘Match Bet’, and they’re done, promising to play Wham songs at their DJ set in the downstairs bar later on (something I regrettably miss). It’s been a total whirlwind of a set, disorientating, danceable, mad and all sorts of wonderful, something I’m boring my work mates with two days after the gig. Black Country, New Road dazzled me two weeks earlier; Squid have floored me all over again. This revolutionary, thrilling set of bands coming through have reignited my love for ‘guitar music’, and I cannot wait to see what they do next.

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