On an arctic night we walk into the Birmingham Barfly and quickly find that checking our jackets in the cloak room was a mistake. The concrete and metal downstairs bar is only slightly warmer than outside - a cool environment for one of the coolest bands around?
Canadian support act Ten Kens work hard for very little reward, before A Place To Bury Strangers arrive on the stage and kick off with Gimme Acid, the small crowd now pushed up against the front of the stage calmly nodding along to the howling guitar and pounding drums.
Fix The Gash In Your Head is just as menacing live as it is on record and the audience responds with pockets of the crowd jumping and dancing around the room. Between songs, one brave punter cries out for the band to play louder, APTBS answer the request with a swirl of feedback, screech of guitars and Don’t Think Lover turned up to 11.
APTBS are obviously influenced by My Bloody Valentine and The Jesus Mary Chain, and like these bands they are more than just noise merchants. Underneath the wall of sound there are lush pop songs, as evident on I Know I’ll See You which has the crowd singing and dancing along with glee.
By now the room has filled with smoke, guitarist Oliver Ackermann is lying on the ground tearing at his effects pedals and the sound, combined with the constant strobe effect, is oppressive. The noise morphs into Ocean, again the vocals are delivered low in the mix as the guitars scream louder and louder. The song and set ends with the band throwing themselves and their instruments around the stage.
New York's loudest band brought a little bit of noise to the Midlands tonight - my ears hurt but I would love to hear a little more.