Witch Tripper Live at Derby ‘Sitwell Tavern

If you are at a loose end on a Saturday night (and you really don’t want to spend the night listening to your sister-in-law chirping on about utter sh*te throughout the evening) then there’s a good chance that Witch Tripper will be playing somewhere close-ish to home (depending where you live, obviously).

A quick check reveals an affirmative on that and we’re in the car heading for the Sitwell Tavern in Derby faster than you can recount the ingredients in your favourite veggie moussaka.

Get us out of this house…

A late addition to the bill are Merseysiders, OMV. The van parked outside says “OMV – Hardcore Street Metal”. Not your usual ‘United In Fuzz’ band then… Nope, no fuzz to be found here. Not that we’re bothered; hardcore street metal is all fine with us. Whatever that may entail.

It’s a baptism of fire for OMV as this is their first gig with new drummer Peter. With just one rehearsal under their belts together, they are going for it live on stage. We may not have seen OMV before but we’ve seen Peter as he is also in Liverpool thrashers Reaper; who impressively tore up Bloodstock this year. Thought we recognised him behind that mask!

Yeah, OMV certainly look the part with their array of masks but they also hit us hard with their raucous metal.  Frontman Richie is your typical vein-busting hardcore rager, but he does offer us the odd smile as the band tear into the opening set of the night. He’s also determined to get a pit going, but the half full Sitwell is having none of that. Arms crossed and head banging along is the order of the day…

They do attract a bloke on crutches to strut his stuff however which, makes a good fifty percent of the room in immediate danger of being knocked out or losing an eye due to flailing sticks. Not a bad effort Derby; although that’s more hardcore wrestling than hardcore metal.

OMV are certainly not what we expected on arrival but they were worth getting down early for. Their hardcore stomp has warmed the place up and with riff monsters like ‘Hang The Judas’ under their belts, we’ll be checking these guys out again.

Now for some fuzzy stuff.

Another new one on us, Stoke’s Quiet the Thief hit the stage and there’s not a mask in sight. Quiet the Thief are definitley more of a jeans and t-shirt kind of band.

The band are more typical of a United in Fuzz night with classic rocks vibes oozing from stage. Their music is reminiscent of Free and maybe even a bit of Doug Wood but with a stoner blues edge and plenty of bottom heavy rhythms buzzing around the room. Frontman Stig looks the stereotypical stoner frontman with the big beard and baseball hat and happily he deals in some appropriatley dirty big riffs to match the look.

With some corking tracks like ‘Hurricane’ and ‘Feed The Wolf’ getting the crowd going, we’ll be making the effort to catch their next Derby show, for sure.

As Witch Tripper get themselves ready for action on stage, the room starts to fill up and it looks more than a bit busy for the first time tonight. We have a look around the place and realise that Witch Tripper have managed to attract an almost perfect crowd. On and around the main dance floor there are loads of the Sitwell’s resident bikers towering above us all with beards and leathers aplenty. The other half of the crowd seems to be made up of good looking girls.

It seems Witch Tripper are turning into Derby’s own Motley Crue…

In fact, come to think of it, James’ constant stick throwing and spinning is probably more entertaining than Tommy Lee’s stupidly slow drum rollercoaster that we had to endure on that last Crue tour.

It doesn’t take long for Richie to acknowledge the great turnout tonight. “If you are here by mistake, just don’t tell us, let us think you are here to see us”. We hazard a guess that most people are here to see Witch Tripper, no mistakes here. Especially as they all know the words to the mighty ‘Attitude Adjustment’.

We’re getting used to seeing the Witch Tripper live show by now, but we’re nowhere near tired of it and they seem to get better (and heavier) every time we see them. As we take our vantage point right in front of Chris’s microphone, we’re hit with a double whammy of the rumbling bass in front of us and the vocals coming out of the monitor behind us. Hello tinnitus!

All our favourites are slotted into the set, namely ‘Chills To The Bone’, ‘Meat Off The Bone’ and the snarly ‘Turbo Bitch’ is renamed “Turbo Slag” tonight in honour of someone in the crowd. We’re sure she’s lovely, really.

We’re getting to know tracks like ‘White Lines’ now and Richie announces that the band will be recording the new album at Christmas. There’s no festive tunes pencilled in though, unfortunately.

Christmas tunes or not, we can’t wait for that one!

It’s a slick and short blast of a performance from Witch Tripper, the only stumble is where Richie has to change guitar half way though due to a few sound issues. Otherwise, they smash out their tunes seemingly at random as they ask each other what they want to play next. Witch Tripper is a well-oiled machine these days and will be in fine form for heading into the studio.

So another wicked set from Mansfield’s finest. A great set of blues/stoner/boogie to put a smile on our faces and it’s well worth the trip out on a cold dark Saturday night!