Once a month, the freaks and geeks of the Chester scene descend upon Alexander’s to attend Strange Geometry. This month on the menu, a couple of bands from Liverpool; Jo Mary and Ohmns. The headliners, Culls, didn’t come on in the end due to technical difficulties (they’ll be playing at the next Strange Geometry on 26th April), but even so, the supports were a gig unto themselves.
Jo Mary slips into the cracks somewhere between fuzzy, Ty Segall-esque rock and King Gizzard and the Lizard Wizard psychedelia, seasoned with some aggressive tambourines. They started with a funky bassline that led into the melody for the song, and it was nice to see the bassist take a leading role for a change. Too often do I see a talented bassist who is relegated to playing a handful of notes for the entire set.
“Come closer,” urged one of the band members. “We don’t bite… much.” The audience chuckled and shuffled in closer and let the music wash over them. I closed my eyes and it was like I was swimming through a fever dream.
The ending number was sweet and bluesy with single, loud drumbeat behind it, like an angry love song. At least for the start. It soon travelled into gloomy, heady rock once more, and they finished on a fuzz-fuelled high.
I caught the lead guitarist (Ochan) and newly-recruited drummer (Lisa) in between sets, and she looked familiar. As it turns out she used to play in Indigo Moon, and is playing in Lonesaw at Wrong Festival on the 28th April in Liverpool. “I recently went through a sex and race change,” she joked.
“Ochan is no longer the token Asian!”
“There are 4 of us usually,” said the bassist of Ohmns into the mic, tuning in.
“Where’s the 4th one?” Shouted one of the audience.
Ohmns went straight for the throat with their brand of garage punk rock and did not let up for the entire set. Discordant vocals over heavy riffs with violent drums, even though they were undermanned, Ohmns more than held their own. They were the real deal.
Peppering the pauses between songs with jibes and wisecracks, the effect they had on the crowd was instant. Fans seemingly crawled out of the woodwork, beers in hand and heads banging. Even though one member wasn’t there, they went hard. The room went from a quiet Thursday night to heavy festival vibes in thirty seconds flat.
On the last song a member of the audience got onto the stage and sang along to as many lyrics as he could remember, and everyone was so chill they let him do it. He was doing his own thing, and people respected that. That’s the sort of thing I remember from a gig and kudos to the band for not kicking him out.
All in all, I had a blast. It’s a shame that Culls didn’t get a chance to perform, but all the more reason to come next time. Both Jo Mary and Ohmns made for a show well worth the fiver, and I look forward to seeing both bands again soon.