Live music is back with a vengeance, and the galvanizing rock ‘n roll trio High Functioning made sure they were one of the first on the scene as they took to the stage at The Chequers pub in Walthamstow, East London.

A Saturday night and a bank holiday weekend, no less, meant that the band drew a modest crowd of both friends and in-the-right-place-at-the-right-time drinkers. But, as they began their set, it became immediately apparent that their full-throated, raucous sound was spilling out onto the market street—that was if the unusual characters dancing outside were anything to go by.

This gig was the perfect opportunity for High Functioning to showcase their latest, eponymous EP, which they weaved between older cuts, some choice tributes, and a captivating guest appearance from Cowboy Flying Saucer vocalist BK-13 on the track ‘Oblivion.’

Their new tracks translate well on the stage, bringing a new dimension to what can be heard on the EP. As a result, there was a particular power in the seven-minute torrent ‘Brain In A Bag,’ which saw High Functioning take all the best influence of bands like Black Sabbath without any of the showboating, and also the largely instrumental ‘Sick and Tired.’ 

High Functioning ended their electrifying set on a high note, with ‘The Train Kept A-Rollin’,’ a frequently covered track from the ’50s that has seen commonplace on the setlists of bands such as Led Zeppelin and Mötorhead. High Functioning definitely possess the prowess of those that came before them, but all together in a far more accessible package—as such, the ovation following their finale rang out across the compact bar.

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