I’m sitting on my train just as its pulling away from Euston station for the second time in five days. Next stop Stoke on Trent in 80 minutes. Home half an hour later then at a push maybe five hours sleep before my alarms are blasting out a snippet of classic D-Beat to entice me out of my slumber for another day at work. Lucky me eh?
The last two evenings have been an exhilarating eight hours of thrash metal. Unfortunately, we’ll expectedly, we were there late yesterday and missed Nervosa – thank you M6 roadworks – and tonight I had to cut Destruction short by half an hour – thanks Virgin rail! I have ended up seeing every band at least once which was my ultimate aim and spent some time with friends – always an added bonus compared to the solitary existence I usually endure for my live music fix.
I have to say Nervosa were superb tonight and much like headliners Destruction, they make an almighty racket for a three piece. Enforcer, as expected, bored me into submission last night (they do a great cover version of I Turned into a Martian originally by Misfits though) so tonight was spent congregated around the bar and briefly chatting to the Acid Reign vocalist. German Teutonic heavy weights Destruction brought the curtain down in their professional way. Their set was a nice mix of new and classic tracks and was received warmly.
My main reason for the double dose of thrash was thanks to Phoenix band Flotsam & Jetsam who in their brief 45 minute set stole the show. Twice. These thrash innovators were on top form yet again and delivered a crushing master class in metal. The vocals were a little lost in London at times but that didn’t detract from the superb performances overall.
Both nights opened up with new track Seventh Seal then into the nostalgia rush of Dreams of Death and Hammerhead. For me their finest four minutes in the form of Desecrator was sandwiched in between two more new tracks. Twenty four hours ago they were stripped of some time due to late doors and finished with Me and the stunning No Place For Disgrace. Running to a strict schedule tonight and on time the set was rounded off with Iron Maiden from the latest release and Hard On You teleased back in 1988 and once again the predictable set closer No Place For Disgrace.
So on the day that marks a thrash metal landmark with the release of Slayer’s classic Reign In Blood thirty years ago, the band that gave Metallica Cliff Burton’s replacement tore the roof off the Underworld in London Town.
One bittersweet comment I overheard leaving the floor after Flotsam had decimated the place was they wished Metallica and Slayer hadn’t made it to the big league so that they could see them in the inmate 450 capacity venues like this. I’ve often thought that about a lot of bands, but if they hadn’t hit the big time I wonder if we’d still have all those early bands and the second wave performing some thirty years later? I highly doubt it, but that just my opinion.
This live version of Desecrator was filmed at the Queens Hall in Nuneaton last May when they did a short headlining tour of the the UK. They were on top form that evening to and they just played well past the venues curfew time, it was just a crying shame so few people decide to come out and pay tribute to one of the original US thrash bands. It was one of those gigs I’m glad I decided to drive to rather than be restricted by the rail time table.