I shuffled off the mortally wounded liver coil of Hammerfest about midday on the Saturday, having certainly had my fill on the proceeding day. Returned to Conwy then my ambulance driver arrived to take me off to my next appointment with the doctors of distortion. Over the Pennines gave me some proper Icelandic flashbacks as the snows set in again, I was feeling more husky than enjoying the hair of the dog, but soon enough we were at our destination and ready to get fired up again.
Such an ace underground DIY venue, such a great gathering of folks as expected, although the weather had made the sold-out event slightly less than full. Caught London’s Feral State to start, straightforward old school UK hardcore with gruff vocals, the cider apple not falling far from the tree of the seminal headliners.
Groak are a different, challenging proposition, but their blend of colossal reverberating doom mixed with power violence outbreaks is a pleasurably twisted sonic experience. They are a focused assault on the senses in spite of being lovely guys.
Wolf Beast Destroyer I think I last saw at a Dirty Weekend in Wrexham, but it was a pleasure to get trampled under their charging, melodic crustiness again. Vocals weren’t sitting very well in the mix but the energy and dynamics in the music was palpable.
Billy Club I hadn’t seen before and I had been expecting to be a bit more old school punk and fair enough there was a degree of clarity and accessibility to their sounds but they still had a barrow-load of melodic energy and great vocal/lyric hooks that really drew you in, good stuff
An extended faff around with Doom on stage initially missing birthday boy drummer Stick, allowing for some drunk Denis karaoke and general messin’ abaht, but when he eventually joins them they are instantly in gear with their crusty onslaught. Been a load of times I’ve seen them now but the consistency is always there, the filthy tones and relentless d-beat and the impassioned vocal roars. They cut their set slightly short to make up for the delays but its quality over quantity for sure, and I’m sure they want to get on with enjoying their influential headliners themselves
Discharge are also reinvigorated with their new(ish) singer and share the high regard of the previous band in maintaining the love of the old punks while remaining relevant to new kids discovering them too. They have new material in the mix and it stands up well against the legendary anthemic metallic hardcore punk haiku classics, their pace to that legendary beat is amazing and adrenaline activating, I‘m sure it messes with your heart rhythm. They have a rockier aspect to their riffing at times but among the flourishes it’s all fast and furious, right up to “The Possibility of Life’s Destruction”, yet another shining blast example of the simplicity and effectiveness of their seminal formula.
A great celebration of the old school and the new stuff it continues to inspire, happy to be doomed to the end.