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Wednesday, 19 November 2008

Eat my beer

So the plan was, me and Bro Dude rock up to Brixton for about 16:00, meet with Axeman and Skinsman from Nobody's Hero and pound beers for a few hours, then wander down to the Academy for Alter Bridge. A simple plan, perfectly executed.

After 5 or 6 of Download's finest beer, Tuborg, we pounded a quick can in the queue and we're in. Obviously the first stop was the bar as it had been at least 7 minutes since out last beverage. A quick stop at the merch stand for the traditional tour t-shirt, a few pisses and off we went to the front.

We caught the end of Logan but didn't see enough for me to pass judgement. Hot Leg, bastard child of former Darkness frontman Justin Hawkins, was another matter. Don't get me wrong, I'm open to any new music and Skinsman was looking forward to some old Darkness tunes. However, what we were greeted with was a wannabe 80's glam metal performance by a group of frankly terrible try-hards. Alter Bridge are not a huge band in this country but their fans are loyal - everyone was buzzing for them but Hot Leg just killed it. They were, frankly, gash.

I'm not a heckler by nature. If I don't approve, I don't watch. Or I keep schtum. But this was a whole new level of cack. The crowd were baying for blood so me and the chaps thought it only right that we take the moral high ground. By annihilating the stage with half-empty pints. Bro Dude was surprised at the velocity of a washback-laden Guinness as it narrowly missed the "guitarist". The cheers for us beat the cheers for Hot Leg. Hot Leg? Hot Shit more like.

Enough of this. Alter Bridge came on with "Come To Life" as they did at Download and the crowd caught fire. Bro Dude hit the toilet and the bar, the rest of us muscled our way down to the front. I was expecting a bit of moshing but not a full on fucking shit fight. As they plowed through the "Blackbird" album, I couldn't hold back any longer so got my carcass up onto the heads and surfed my way to the front. One thing I'll say for the security, they helped me down and just pushed me out. No bollocking, no nothing. However, when "Ties That Bind" kicked in and I went over again, I did get a wee warning not to do it again or I'd be expelled. Buzzkills.

As "Blackbird" entered it's sixth minute, me and the lads were arms in air, sweating, I was shirtless and scratched to fuck, and some random bloke put his arm round my waist and told me he loved me. "Metallingus" kicked us into overdrive and by the end of the set, 2,000 people realised they'd been beating the shit out of their mates for an hour and had screamed their throats raw (as one song finished, I removed the inexplicable headlock I had on Skinsman...)

We met up with Bro Dude outside who was buzzing, plus Axeman's dad who'd been at the bar chugging lager with roadies for the set, and off we rode into the Brixton sunset. Well done lads; it was a fucking belter.

Alter Bridge do a headline tour once a year. Here's hoping that Myles Kennedy's rumoured presence on the forthcoming Led Zep tour doesn't stop this happening again in 2009.

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