Call me Russ L

Hardcaw-uh

Posted in Music by Russ L on 7 January, 2006

Originally posted on 5/11/4.

I seem to be operating at a permanent level of ‘writing about event before the last event I went to’ lately. Saturday night (30/10/4) I went to The Royal George (for the third time in eight days… I’m just waiting to see what I’ve caught) for a gig. My main reason for going to this one was that the ever-lovely Maxxxine (www.maximmortal.tk) was putting it on (alongside your man Paul Illstone), and – damnit – she’d go to your gig if you were doing one. The turn out (while not empty) was a little disappointing, to be honest – never mind the lack of hardcore kids who always go on about their scene and all that, where were the legions of people who love Maxi to bits? Oh well.

First on were Seventh Cross, from Worcester. Slayer-esque metalcore, and by that I mean very Slayer-esque indeed. I quite enjoyed them; nothing original at all and I probably wouldn’t listen to them at home, but decent enough to watch.

Feeding from France were second, and they were bloody brilliant. I wasn’t expecting to be particularly impressed by any of the bands on this evening, if I’m honest, but Feeding were fandabbydozie. The least hardcore-ish band on the bill, they went from quiet melodic passages to loud heavy-yet-expansive ones; I know there are millions of bands who fit that description but these guys were really good, trust me. A lower-sophistication version of mid-period Neurosis meeting Grade is about the best direct comparison I can think of, although it’s not very good one. Band of the night by a nautical mile.

Both Comity and Trouble Loves Us had previously had to drop out of this tour for unpleasant personal reasons, so DeadxReckoning from Belgium came over instead. Fair play to them, as apparently they’d already officially split up before all of this and they did it purely to help out. Nice one. I’d never heard of them before, but I now gather they were quite well-respected in the HC scene, and so there were some happy faces when people found out they were on the bill. They were the second best band of the night for me, anyway, playing hardcore with less of the ol’ metal than most of the other bands. They had bags of onstage energy and some songs that sounded like they could be really memorable if they got a few more listens – I would say check them out, but if they’ve already split up…

My compadres for the evening (yes! I was actually with people!) and I had joked that the Welsh band would be harder to understand when they talked between songs than the French and Belgian bands… and then it actually turned out to be true. Deary deary me. Anyway, Dignity Dies First from South Wales have been hailed as a new/original/exciting version of melodic metalcore, and on the basis of this performance and the odd songs I’ve heard online I’m not really seeing that – they sound fairly typically crash-bang-wallop to me. Headlining were Chimaera from Belgium (not the American Chimaira on Roadrunner), who don’t seem to make any pretence about being the straight-up uber-metal type of metalcore. Whichever way up, I was (shall we say) somewhat intoxicated by the time DDF were on and even more so by the time Chimaera played, and it was a case of “they’re playing over there and I’m standing here watching and listening to them, but there’s not much connection being made.” I’m sure you know what I mean, whether you’re wobbly edge or not. If they’d have been on first I would have probably reacted to them in a similar way to Seventh Cross. Ultimately, also, I do think that five bands is simply too many for an evening gig. On an alldayer you’ll quite often have a break in the middle; five bands (especially of the dagga-dagga-graaah variety) on the trot with little pause between them is too much for my aging self, and I’m sure for all the people who’d be willing to call me a pussy for that a few would probably secretly feel the same.

A fun night nonetheless, and everyone needs to make sure they see/hear Feeding if they get the chance.

Bush has his second term; not a lot I can say really. I’ll just worry, quietly.

– Russ L

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