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Friday, 16 October 2009

Hardcore and prescription medicine

So Monday finally arrived and after a substantial drought in the land of giggage, I once again got to feel the sweaty embrace of other men in the wondrous pit at Daath/Throwdown/Unearth/Chimaira at London's Electric Ballroom. My hardcore ally Si-KO couldn't make it so there I was, all by myself, drinking snakebite and black and trying to avoid the world's drunkest man from emptying the contents of his pint glass and stomach into my hoody.

Daath opened proceedings with the room at about 40% capacity yet lead singer Sean Zatorsky, who looks like something between Jesus and a heroin tramp, managed to get a pretty noticeable pit going within a couple of songs, as well as gesticulating that their guitarist was a total wanker during one extended solo. Their hardcore-mit-death style set an awesome pace for the evening and with the aid of the ol' snakey 'n' blacks I felt my head start to nod.

Since hearing Venom and Tears and Haymaker, and catching a bit of their live set at Download 2008, I've been keen on a bit of Throwdown so thought this would be a good time to chug a couple of pints and get involved in the pit. Down to the front I went with pockets rammed with t-shirt, phone, MP3, travel card, hoody round my waste, and shoes adequately secured after the Rise Against incident ("The pits", March 10th 2009). I cannot remember a single song they played apart from Holy Roller as to be honest, I was too busy going retard-fuck-spazzingly mental. The pit wasn't as mad as something like Machine Head but it was well executed, concentrated bursts of violence. Dave Peters and I made eye contact long enough for my hand gestures and shouts of "CIRCLE PIT" to get a the big man's approval, and so the bedlam continued. A burst of songs from Vendetta and new album Deathless were complimented by Peters' constant crowd surfing and encouraging those underneath him to help out with some of the singing (well, shouting). And then it ended and I realised I was beyond knackered. Too old for this shit.

Standing at the bar afterwards, a couple of lads came up to me and said "mate, you were going mental at the front!" - yes, yes I was kids. For I have done this sort of thing before. They then pointed out I had blood on my face; a quick check for injuries revealed it wasn't mine. Yummy.

Whilst surviving the pit for Throwdown's whole set was awesome, I was a wee bit worse for wear on the other side so decided to have a little rest for Unearth, who played an absolutely punishing few numbers, taking songs from The Oncoming Storm and even further back, whilst frontman Trevor Phipps managed to keep the insane bastards still in the pit going fucking ballistic, encouraging them to get over the top (much to the annoyance of the security guards). Drummer Derek Kerswill's kick was so brutal that I regularly felt I was going to shit my pants and being as this wasn't a GG Allin gig, I thought that may have been frowned upon.

I was talking to Alexander Milas from Metal Hammer in the beautiful smoking area when I realised I was rapidly approaching the threshold of "better fuck off or you're not getting home sunshine" so had to duck out after Chimaira had only played four songs. Which frankly sucked, as the room was off the chizz-ain. With Darude's 90s trance number Sandstorm playing erroneously over the PA just before Fuck Your Power Trip kicked in, shoes, spit, blood, bodies, everything was flying all over the shop and vocalist Mark Hunter was genuinely humbled by the scene.

On the plus side, Chimaira are playing with Whitechapel and Trivium in March so at least I'll be able to catch a full set then.

All I can say is "fuck me". The absolute fury of these bands on stage created one of the most volatile, high-intensity rooms I've ever been in. But despite this, and with the exception of one guy getting chinned by a complete cunt in the pit, there was no hint of anything nasty outside the circle. A fucking top show by fucking top bands. Good work; carry on.

So the floodgates have opened. Tomorrow is Malefice, Behemoth, Suicide Silence, Trigger the Bloodshed and the mighty godlike DevilDriver. The one problem is that due to my hardcore mental pit monkey slam gnarliness, I've fucked my back up big time. Sleep for the last two nights has been aided by beer and Diazepam, which go together like razor blades and aspirin, so happy days. But once Dez and the boys get going, I'm not sure there's going to be anything that'll fix me afterwards.

I'm off to do some calisthenics. Either that or my next post will probably from my wheelchair.

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