LIVE: The Virginmarys – The Lexington, London

Macclesfield’s favourite sons, The Virginmarys are back. After an absence of a couple of years, writing a new album, tonight’s gig at The Lexington in London is the second of their comeback trail. This intimate and (yes, I’ll mention it again) appallingly-lit venue fits this band down to a tee. It’s warm, it’s damp, it’s popular and it has a ‘down and dirty’ feel to it that leaves you a little bit excited, a little bit scared.

The Virginmarys @ The Lexington, LondonFrontman Ally Dickaty describes the new material as the best they’ve ever written and new material is liberally scattered across tonight’s setlist. We’re familiar only with ‘Into Dust’ which got its first airing only a week or so ago and its testament to the fanbase that it’s greeted like an old friend, words sung impeccably by those throwing their pints into the air and slamming into each other. The Virginmarys @ The Lexington, London

This is a band that worked hard to court and break America but tonight says all you need to know about them. They return to live music on home soil, they play at small venues that sell out in a heartbeat and the new song, as its ninth word, has the sort of expletive that causes US radio-play to run screaming for religious forgiveness, and I love that. It’s not aimed at a sell-out commercial market, it’s simply what this band feel, know and do best, and this visceral cascade of sound and wall of guitars and noise are heaven, to me.

The Virginmarys @ The Lexington, LondonAlly’s throat cords stand out like a steroid-enhanced wrestler, drummer Danny Dolan is a permanent blur of activity and thrashing around, and bass player Matt Rose is like a spinning top that never quite makes a full revolution, snapping back in the other direction before the circle is formed. The Virginmarys @ The Lexington, London

As the encore brings a sweat-soaked band and venue back to attention, it all becomes just that bit too much, and the venues decorations start to slip and slide from the walls, unable to hold themselves up any longer as the pounding commences again. Back with a bang and all the better for it.

View the whole gallery here.