We caught Sleep Eaters’ headline show at Rough Trade East on Wednesday ahead of their debut EP release.

It’s early August yet we’re still wallowing in our mid-summer slumps. Is it too soon to start fearing for the colder weather or are we entitled to a bit of pre-season moodiness? Regardless of where you stand, the doors of Rough Trade East are always going to be open for a good time. Rough Trade Recommends is a show curated on the first Wednesday of every month and a chance to see some of the best of new music. This month’s headliners / first time performance Rough Traders was Sleep Eaters. 

From the very first second, the London five-piece swooped on stage with an atmosphere so gleaming and erupted it was as if they’d roped in the night sky and all its magnetic energy, and tied it in an intricate knot of lap steel warmth that’s left humming overhead. Always pinching near a sensory storm, Sleep Eaters are a howling spectacle of which, with every crittered and ten-tonne sparked number, gets fed more and more frenzied badass to the point of bawled bellied satisfaction. There is no rest for the artistically wicked as rapidly the psychobilly beast was ready for the prowl. The instant early classic ‘Bad Love’ dribbled crystal-clear riffs, things began really kicking off and the crowd found themselves voluntarily launched into a narrated freak out to end all freak-outs. Your loneliness doesn’t want to possess you; Sleep Eaters are here to make it alright again, if you’re prepared to ride the beaten off-track to freedom. 

If we ought to take anything from tonight, aside from our goose-bumped liberations, it would have to be that there is more to banded human existence than being ‘good at what you do’ you’ve got to want to be it also. Playing an anticipated mix of new material and ‘old’, it must be cried to the masses that this bunch are still, as of yet, to release their debut EP (Holy Days is out August 9th, PNKSLM Records).

With four singles to their name, latest release ‘Life of Sin’ was dangerously lustrous to the point where you would be forgiven for needing a sit down afterwards. What’s remarkable about this group is their ability to charm richly country garage-punk with seeming effortlessness. So possessed by their creation are they that it consistently felt as though we were watching instruments dress themselves second handed-ly onto their players in a bid to bodily conquer. Yes, we all dream of cowboys and desert dune dances, but very few of us get more than an overly-condensed city harvest in our day-to-day adventures (and we’re not just talking London Fields). Sleep Eaters, if but for a short while, helped re-shift our well-worn environments for the better and oh boy was it worth the inevitable Wednesday night bus ride home.

Photo credit: Carolina Faruolo