GDFAF #10: Unleashed / Grave / Dismember / Entombed (5/11/6)
And so our nation’s annual celebration of anti-Catholicism arrived, leaving me wondering where to go. The original plan was to go to The Klopeks’ fireworks night gig, but for all my efforts I was unable to obtain confirmation/any details, so there we are. The fact that every GDFAF gig up to this point had been in Birmingham was something that needed to be rectified, though, and since the ‘Masters Of Death’ tour (I’m assuming that’s an attempt at a qualitative description – ‘they play death metal and have mastered it’ – rather than an attempt at a scary name, because it’s really quite comically bad as the latter) was stopping at JB’s I had an opening to introduce a bit more yam-yamery into this venture, as is only right and proper. If you’d have asked me “Whorram yow dooin’ ternight?” I’d have replied “Gooin’ ter Dudlay.” And I did.
JB’s is a huge venue (I always forget just how big it is), and was the place in which much youthful foolishness took place years ago. Those days are gone, of course, none of that any more (youthfulness, that is. I still have plenty of foolishness). They have this frustrating habit of not really advertising their gigs – a half page in “Ryan’s Gig Guide” doesn’t really cut it, I’m afraid. There were a fair few in attendance at this one, but not in comparison to the size of the place (and I’m certain they could have packed it out, too).
They seem to have a tendency to balance out the paucity of people by charging the ones that do turn up a fortune to get in, and so it went here. Sixteen quid! Obscene. I was even more pissed off to walk into the main room (it was about five to eight) and find Entombed, the band I was most interested in seeing, already on. What? I’d assumed they’d be headlining, being the only band on the bill that any real person would actually have heard of.
Oh well. I didn’t miss too much of their set, I don’t think. Entombed were everything you’d want them to be – beer swilling death ‘n’ roll headbangerangry fury. I recall reading an interview ages ago (it must have been years) with some band or other, and they enthused about the fact that Entombed ‘always had a bit of punk to their metal.’ I think that’s spot on – although their actual playing is as tight as the metaphorical gnat’s chuff, the material has a looseness to it which enables them to actually groove while still hitting as hard or harder than most others. They also manage to do without the standard issue po-faced manner, which gets a big thumbs up from me. I tend to forget about Entombed and generally think of Obituary as being ‘My Favourite Death Metal Band,’ but I think my mind has been changed. Wicked set.
After that, we had three entirely generic and dull bands. I wasn’t interested in genre pieces at the indie gig the previous night, and I wasn’t interested in ‘em here either. The three bands in question were Dismember, Grave and Unleashed, and a bit of asking around suggests that they played in that order (buggered if I could tell one from the other). Whoever the last band were (Unleashed?) seemed marginally better than the other two, with a handful of slightly more memorable riffs, but on the whole… meh.
Still, I saw Big Sean, who’s always good to take the piss out of bands with. The evening was broken up a little bit by the bloke who started enthusing to him about “this anti-Jew stuff” during the band that may or may not have been Grave. Erm… I’ve no idea whether that’s true or not (the lyrics, obviously, consist of “Graaaagh Graaagh Bruuurgh Graaagh”). If it is, consider my disapproval firmly voiced. It was quite fun to shout “Oy vey!” and “Ay ay ay!” between songs instead of general cheering noises, though.
~ Russ L, who now intends to start a death metal band called ‘Usurer.’ It sounds right, doesn’t it?