Henge at the Studio, Widnes, with support from Paddy Steer Saturday 30th April 2022





‘Our front man ‘Zpor’ takes to the stage with a huge light up staff, flowing cloak and a large light bulb shaped static ball on his head. It’s completely stark raving bonkers from the start!’


From the surreal to the sublime…tonight’s is something different… two of the most bizarrely brilliant musical acts you’re ever likely to come by. Henge, whose reputation for being brilliantly bonkers precedes them (I so can’t wait for this), and Paddy Steer as support, who is superbly intriguing to say the least. I’m expecting great things.

In drizzling rain, we’re in Widnes, home to a gem of a venue which is well worth a visit, the Studio. There’s a great local music scene in Widnes. Lots of must see bands and performers with great original sounds hail from this area, and the Studio has been a stepping stone for a great many of them.

The Studio is run by Loose, which is a community based, non profit organisation aiming to remove any barriers to the arts and culture via this community venue. Active since 1997, the Studio is home to arts (visual, musical and performing) groups, LGBT groups, youth support projects and drumming groups as well as housing a fully fitted recording studio, performance venue, art gallery and conference/teaching facilities. As well as live music events, a rich and diverse range of activities are regularly held here.  We met with some of the youth volunteers helping out tonight; they were very enthusiastic, super friendly and really helpful and genuinely love being there. It’s such a welcoming, inclusive place here at the studio. Staff and volunteers are brilliant and more than accommodating; we were really welcomed and made to feel at home.

Formerly an old Sunday school and church hall, it’s a brilliant space which still retains many of its original features, which adds to the atmosphere. A good stage area sits beneath the arch of the former church hall, with a comfortable seating area at the opposite end. A bar/cafe is to the right of the stage and an outdoor seated smoking area is to the left. Drinks are very reasonably priced. Tonight’s event is all standing other than the small area to the rear, but tables and chairs are available for other events.

Support – Paddy Steer

With a real cult following, somewhat of a local legend in the underground Manchester scenes, we have Paddy Steer. Hailing from Salford, he’s got a brilliant reputation for his avant garde performance art type set up. Creating and building all his own equipment himself to ensure his own unique sound, it’s all totally hand painted and decorated. It’s really quite something to behold. A colourful ensemble of drum kit, amps, synths etc…looking like some bewildering installation at some art gallery. It’s a visual treat and when, dressed as a wizard, Paddy begins his set the creativity and vision expands ever wider. Often wearing his own hand crafted helmet with light up eyes and mouth, this performance is quite fascinating. With a wealth of crazy sound effects, it’s upbeat, lively, a club like feel, mainly drum based (and boy this guy can drum) with keys, synth and voice changer parts. How he managed to perform all this completely by himself is honestly some feat. It’s brilliant, surreal, totally off the wall, like nothing I’ve ever seen, but wow…honestly,  I can’t stop watching his manic juggling of his mesmerising sounds!

Robotic, very conceptual vibes are banging. The feels are of a 90s rave in a field somewhere…that’s the sound vibe I get, and it’s great. It’s a vibration of the very highest. People have come in bizarre costumes, everyone’s dancing, it’s totally different and such a great atmosphere. Back to back performance, no small talk, no gaps, it’s like a DJ set would be, but hey this guy is playing live…and by himself! It’s like a one man band of bonkers techno and synth.

In a flurry of light, shimmering haze of colours, bizarre artistic imagery and the most amazing out of this world sounds I give you Paddy Steer. Vibrant, surreal, eccentric and musical creative genius. Brilliant set, loved it.



Tonight’s headliner, Henge, is another Manchester band and another conceptual and wildly different and quirky one!

In the most bizarre (and quite random) alien costumes, the band take their places on stage. In what can only be described as an intro of epic proportions, our front man ‘Zpor’ takes to the stage with a huge light up staff, flowing cloak and a large light bulb shaped static ball on his head. It’s completely stark raving bonkers from the start! The sound is immense…spiritual, other worldly, shimmering, high intensity but with a bassy club beat running through it. The energy poured into this is massive; all band members give this their all. This space ship has well and truly landed, bringing with it a close encounter, a musical comet of creativity, madness and magic. It’s high vibe, it’s up there, happy making. I can’t stop smiling or laughing. It’s brilliant; it has such a joyous effect on us!

In a shimmering asteroid shower of synths, keys fading and distortion this sound is captivating. The crowd is now right up to the stage, everyone’s dancing. It’s such a feel good set you can’t help but love it. I feel like I’ve been transported to the planet where the Clangers live and the Soup Dragon is singing to us!…there’s still that feeling of being at a bonkers rave, a spiritual rave with an alien encounter. All very trance like, trippy, original and so quirky. The role of alien is taken very seriously and the entire band stay in character throughout. Our front man Zpor is making shapes and dancing wildly all over the stage. I can honestly say I’ve never experienced anything quite like this before and I’m quite sure I never will again. I’m fully expecting to wake up, bewildered, in a barn somewhere in the middle of Wisconsin or similar with my entire memory erased!


Henge – Headline

Matthew Whitaker (Zpor) – vocal/guitar

Pete Turner (Goo) – bass/synth bass

Roy Medhurst (Grok) – synth.

Sam Draper (Nom) – drums



At the heart of many of the songs are clear messages about climate change, conservation and decommissioning weapons. The less dance themed material has a smooth, hippy feeling, very laid back and soothing, the vocal mellow and light and very listenable. Very, very tightly performed and musically on point. Tonight’s overall feel is one of fever induced hallucinations or substance fuelled trips! Great, crunching guitar sections, then glittery and light, the guitars in this sound are magical, then skippy, light drum beats, alternating to pounding bassy club beats. Between songs there’s storytelling, explanations about themes and alien scenarios and the interaction is very clever and witty. Some tracks have a real western or cowboy film soundtrack feel to them – huge guitar intros, whistling and slow drum beats.

During the final song Zpor is off stage and dancing around among the crowd, linking, hoe down style, with pretty much everyone there!. It’s been one hell of an alien encounter, Henge have blown the roof off in here tonight. This band guarantee smiles and happiness… such an uplifting and euphoric experience, and the sound is banging too!

Hats off to this bizarrely brilliant, rousing, magical, extra terrestrial genius of a band. Thank you, Henge for taking us on this dream like, bonkers excursion to outer space!



‘Sorry no set list available right now, will update when it becomes available’