Hirsute riff-meisters Winnebago Deal, ubiquitous on any stoner rock billing recently and the twosome (both named Ben) currently courted salaciously by the rock music press, thunder onstage and immediately storm relentlessly into a Paganistic fury. From the first resounding assault to the last deep-throated chord it’s not difficult to see why they’ve risen from relative local notoriety in their hometown of Oxford to smouldering on the periphery of an earthy Valhalla, forging metallic, hard rock. Despite a minimalist line-up, Winnebago Deal’s sound is anything but. A clearly impressed audience are left reeling from their deafening thunderbolt of a set, swirling drunkenly from a dark, filthy, drowsy slog to bleeding, furious noise. What better introduction to the psychedelic, stellar Nebula than a primal orgiastic duel in the muddy depths of the Underworld?

Nebula take the stage with the sublime confidence of a band that knows the crowd is here to see them and the result is a rapturous retro blur: the intoxicating California three-piece launch into an accomplished, captivating set, inciting the stunned crowd into a hallucinatory frenzy. More sophisticated, less primal than their support, Nebula name-check Hendrix, Mudhoney, MC5, the Stooges and Black Flag whilst less imaginative reviewers credit Zeppelin and Sabbath. Such comparisons seem unnecessary however when confronted with such galactic originality, navigating seraphically through a heavy hybrid fusion of psychedelic, stoner, blues, punk and power rock. What truly ravishes the crowd tonight though, is Nebula’s relentless ability to create a celestial energy in a room physically throbbing and pulsating with sound. A majestic trio creating some epic noise, Nebula should soon be accruing status as a must-see band, but tonight might just have taken care of that.

The photographs that accompany this article were all taken by Matthew Williams

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