(review by MWJ)

The Persistence Tour rolls into London town again for the annual hardcore jamboree. Having not been to this show in any of the previous years, I was well overdue for a visit.

I had booked my train tickets and hostel well in advance, but my ticket for the gig still had not arrived with 2 days to go. After bollocking some half-wit at Ticketweb over the phone, it was arranged for me to pick up my ticket at the box office before the gig. Job done.

My trains were all on time ( I had to change at Chester and Crewe) and I rolled into Euston at 14:30. A quick tube trip up to Camden and I booked into my hostel. I wasn’t too sure what to expect as I had only paid £9.50 for a bed in a 10-bed dormitory. Luckily, the hostel was above a pub and the room looked clean enough. Thank fuck!

After grabbing a quick Burgerking to sustain me for the evening’s dancing, I hopped on the tube again for the next stop at Kentish Town and went to the Assembly House pub where I had arranged to meet up with a load of friends.

Over the next few hours all of my mates turned up and much ale was supped. It was decided to stay in the pub rather than watch bad metalcore bands like War Of Ages and Heaven Shall Burn who were opening up the gig.

I quite fancied going in to see Discipline but none of the others were overly bothered so the executive decision was made to stay in the pub and sup more ale.

We got into the gig just in time to see Terror. I think their new album is one of the best releases of 2008 and I was really looking forward to seeing them. Unfortunately, the sound wasn’t great and I couldn’t make out which song they were playing when I got into the venue!

They played a strong set which included “Always The Hard Way” and “Let Me Sink”. The pit was growing as more people arrived and a furious “Spit My Rage” saw me entering the mayhem to represent the North Wales Hardcore Crew in typical style! Terror always put on an intense show, but the sound spoilt it in such a big venue. Go and see this band in a club.

Main support act were H2O who played well, but couldn’t match the intensity of Terror. The crowd weren’t into them as much and again the sound didn’t do them any favours. Having said that, with material as good as “Guilty By Association”, “Nothing To Prove” and “One Life One Chance” they are always a good show. Predictably, Lou Koller joined them on stage for a rousing “What Happened” to finish.

And so it was onto the best band in the world, the mighty Sick Of It All. The lights went down as the air-raid siren blared out and you could cut the atmosphere with a knife. They blasted straight into “Good Lookin’ Out” and the carnage began.

The set was pulled from all of their back catalogue, including the criminally under-rated “Just Look Around” album which they ignored on their last visit in April.

It speaks volumes that a classic song like “Injustice System” can be thrown into the set early on. Most bands spend their entire careers trying to write a song as good as that.

The highlights included “Call To Arms”, “My Life”, “Fred Army”, “Built To Last” and a fucking raging “We Stand Alone” which probably inspired the most violent moshpit I’ve been in for years. The SOIA “Braveheart” saw the room split into two sides which charged into each other when “Scratch The Surface” began, and a large circle pit broke out too.

I was fucking shattered by the end and nursing a golf ball sized lump on the side of my head! I also had to help my mate out of the pit during one song as he’d gone down and hurt his leg, and being injured in a SOIA moshpit is the worst place to be! Fortunately he was ok after a break on the sidelines.

Lou mentioned that they were taking a break now to concentrate on writing their new album, which hopefully will be out in 2009. If it’s as good as their last album, “Death To Tyrants”, then I can’t fucking wait for it!

Overall, it was a cracking gig, which was only let down by the ropey sound. The three bands that I saw all played really good sets and the moshpit action was as brutal as one could hope for!