Words by Adrian Cross

It's difficult not to substitute bugs for rugs when you hear the name Bed Rugs. Perhaps that inevitable double take, almost like a moment of syncopation, helps sear them into your memory.

Friday at The Macbeth was the Antwerp foursome's first foray onto these shores. The faded pub nestled in the strip of cafes, takeaways and boozers on Hoxton Street has all the grittiness you'd hope for from a venue that's hosted The Gang of Four and Pete Doherty.

It's fitting that this is a Bad Vibrations event. A stunning mural inside depicts Macbeth tormented by Banquo's ghost. The interior is a hotchpotch of Iberian tiling, flowered wallpaper and mountain lodge hotel. Bed Rugs vibes are largely positive. Ethereal, seemingly helium-filled, vocals from frontman Yannick Aerts overlay the three earthbound guitars.

Inevitably their psychedelic rock draws heavily on the late sixties and its nineties reboot through the likes of The Stone Roses. Notes of The Cure, The Flaming Lips and Black Sabbath, also surface, where the abiding chimes are swapped for slowed, choppy chords.

The group is signed to Cornershop's Ample Play label and has followed up its debut album 8th Cloud with the Rapids EP, mixed by The Bees' Paul Butler. Its excellent single 'Yawn' is a highlight. "Let's big it up for Belgium!" is the group's clarion call. And why not? The homeland of Jacques Brel's genius is habitually underrated. The textures and lyrical qualities of Bed Rugs' music are more discernible in the studio, but are successfully sacrificed for raw, live energy here. Unfortunately the set culminates with a drawn out dirge that temporarily loses the now swollen crowd.

In Shakespeare's tragedy Lady Macbeth tries to wipe away the 'accursed spot' of her guilt. With soaring support from Arabian influenced indie outfit Moksha Medicine, this eponymous venue is an authentic spot to give Bed Rugs an opening blast on the British music circuit. They're a band of fertile promise.