I find myself outside The Kentish Town Forum at the ludicrously early hour of 6 O’clock? I'm trying to keep myself warm with slugs of whiskey from a small bottle being passed around. When we do finally gain entry to the venue we first have to make our way past the incredibly rude and unhelpful staff, but make it past we do and quickly descend the staircase in order to be one of the 500 people who are allowed entry to the lower floor in order to watch the spectacle that is Lightning Bolt. Rhode Island noise merchants Lightning Bolt still refuse to play on a stage. Preferring the ground level set-up to add intimacy as well as blow eardrums for those brave souls who huddle around the speaker cab for the warmth of their deconstructed rock behemoths, smashed to pieces by scattershot drumming and blistering bass playing. This causes a problem for anyone who wants to actually, you know, see them as unless you’re in the front two rows then all you’ll be seeing is the nodding back of someone’s head. Alas it seems that all this effort to get in early is wasted. I’ve seen Lightning Bolt twice before, both at ATP, and managed to make my way to the very front, close enough to see the whites of Brian Chippendale’s eyes as he battered his drum kit to within an inch of its life. Tonight that’s not the case. I am stood four rows back from behind the band, when they finally start it sounds as if they’re playing through a sack, I can see the people in front of them sticking their fingers in their ears and grimacing and wish that I could trade places for them. I’m also not a huge fan of their newer album which is where most of the songs they play seem to come from, apart from the rousing addition of 13 Monsters I leave feeling somewhat disappointed and with my hearing still intact, which is probably lucky as I still have five more bands to watch.

After ‘enjoying’ an over-priced pint I make my way over to the stage for the start of Pissed Jeans. A couple of friends mention how much they like them so I’m keen to investigate as I’ve missed them a couple of times before when they’ve played. After an enjoyable couple of songs I start to get distracted by the fact that each song sounds exactly like the last one so I wander off to look at people’s costumes instead.

Wooden Shjips are up next. I have recently been getting into lots of ‘Psych’ bands so am very keen to watch these San Franciscans do their thing. I’m not disappointed, building on a repetitive, not in the pejorative sense, bass line and simple drum beat the guitarist builds up walls of noise that transport the listener to a another state of reality. I can’t really hear anything that the organ player is doing which is a little annoying as it would only add to the overall effect but I am captivated for the full time of their set and even go and shake hands with the bassist when they finish.

OM are so dull I don’t even notice that they’ve been playing till about 10 minutes into their set. I had the misfortune of seeing them at Primavera as I thought that they’d be interesting to watch in a Sunn O))) sort of way but instead they bored me to tears and we ended up leaving instead of staying to watch Holy Fuck and they almost manage to drive me out of The Forum again. Instead I shout “Hey Brian” at the Lightning Bolt bassist and get a high-five from him before he stumbles off looking confused.

>I am an unashamed fan of Les Savy Fav, it’s a toss up between them and GS!YBE as being my favourite band. This is my 4th time seeing them this year, and 9th overall so I’m already psyched to see them as I know what to expect. Even on a bad day they will piss all over any bands with their weird indie rock action and Tim Harrington’s stage antics. They prove this with their introduction alone. A group of Zombies are unleashed onto the stage, after spending about five minutes walking around the band march onstage dressed as police toting shotguns. They proceed to blast away at the Zombies before being overcome and Zombified themselves, then the show proper begins. I’d been reading a lot of criticism of Harrington lately saying that his ‘antics’ on stage detract from the music and had to shake my head in disagreement. Until tonight that is, LSF have an incredibly strong back catalogue so pretty much anything they play is a classic sing along, this however is made difficult by the fact that Harrington spends more time dressing up and getting in the crowd than he does actually singing the words, leaving the crowd to do a lot of it. For the first few songs I feel my spirits slightly dampened, but as they unleash Hold Onto Your Genre from Inches, a song I’ve never heard them play before, I can’t help but get back into the spirit of the night and enjoy the rest of the set. They play an impressive set of songs from all their albums which culminates with the time worn classic of Rome which they lush out in an extended jam.

Shellac are pretty much impossible to fault, in my humble opinion, they’ve been doing this so long that they could probably do it in their sleep. Each riff executed with almost robotic, again not a pejorative not in Steve Albini’s capable hands, precision, each drum roll battering out a familiar Tattoo, the meaty bass lines pounding your chest. Shellac are another band that have an impressive back catalogue which they can dip into and always be guaranteed to come out with a winner, so it is that they work their way through tracks like My Black Ass, In A Minute, End of Radio and the classic misanthropic sing along of Prayer To God. I never thought I’d see a mosh pit at a Shellac show but they even manage to inspire one of those. As the last note rings out I know that I have seen one of the best live bands touring at the moment.