Yesterday involved a Sunday afternoon drive up the M6 and M62 to the Temple of Boom in Leeds. It was my first visit to this Lilliputian venue, but in a hindsight and suffering a tired zombie like haze the day after, it was well worth it.
After a slightly delayed departure, and a toilet emergency en route for one of the passengers, we arrived at the Temple shortly before proceedings should have kicked off. An hour later than we’d expected local trio Groak hit the “stage” and powered through a brief set of raw and fast hardcore (fast core), power violence, blastcore or however you want to define the genre. Leicestershire band Nothing Clean and travelling from the other end of the M62, Liverpudlian mob Horsebastard offered more of the same.
Tonight’s draw were undoubtedly the two band fleeing Donald Trump’s bizarre new world.
Fronted by the enigmatic Bob Otis, Rhode Island band Dropdead offered a more polished and experienced version of what had preceded. On stage for close on to fourth minutes they played the longest set of the evening. I’m not sure if they’ve played the UK before (I’m pretty confident they have though but a long time ago) but they were embraced by the majority of the near capacity crowd line some long lost siblings by the assembled punks, rockers, hardcore kids and metal heads. With an unintelligible vocal style the songs were interspersed with brief synopses of the songs and the first of many rants against President Trump that I’m sure I’ll encounter over the next four years.
Running over time – no surprise for a DIY punk show – Weymouth, Massachusetts hardcore punk legends Siege were playing their second ever show on British soil, the first of which happened to be on the very same stage less than twenty hours earlier. Clocking in at under thirty minutes, the slightly thinning crowd lapped up the noisy and blistering performance. Things briefly descended into some Hawkwind kind of weirdness with the introduction of a saxophone and, unintentionally, a female fan swaying and dancing away to the side of the stage.
Getting home an hour later than expected and my work alarms attempting to wake me three and a half hours later this morning and most of today has been hard work, but well worth it to see two bands as legendary in their genre as Dropdead and Siege on a British stage in such an intimate setting. In two weeks time I get to do it again in the same venue when Infest roll into the city to play a trio of shows there.
Never heard of any of the above bands? Here’s a minute or so of headliners Siege with the aptly named track Drop Dead, which was originally released on cassette in 1984, but has been officially and unofficially unleashed on the public many times in the three decades since its release.