Ignoble Blackmail

Gig wise February has been running much more smoothly than January seemed to! Last Saturday saw me back in Manchester in Satan’s Hollow for the first time in some years to catch the final night of the A Taste of Reaped Owl Custard tour that took in Liverpool and Derby the two nights previously. The venue looks like a huge prop from a Hellraiser movie with the stage in the round in some sort of demonic park band stand.

The tour slogan is a bit convoluted but it takes in to account the four bands making up the package. All the bands have been on the New Blood stage at Bloodstock in recent times, and it was good to see the camaraderie carrying on.

Killing time in the pub across the road my heart sank yet again when a Facebook post stated a later door opening time and a swap in the running order due to traffic issues. Once again I was on the last train home with only an expensive option of a taxi if I missed it.

Thankfully I managed to see all four bands – or parts there of – and leave at my expected time to make the short walk in the rain back to the station.

First up was Taste of Greed from Hamburg, half the reason I was there and the band who did the last minute switch. Their energetic death / thrash metal hybrid was well received by all and the dapper frontman Jens seemed suitably impressed. If the tour had been any longer I wonder how many consecutive shows he had in him as his voice was worse for wear after three.

Liverpool thrashers Reaper were the traffic casualties and as a result to keep within the strict venue curfew they only had time for three songs. A friend recommended this band and pronounced them as the next big thing in UK thrash. After the briefest of sets I was left wanting more and with their debut album imminent I can’t wait to see them again.

Derbyshire’s Raised by Owls were fun in a noisy uncompromising way. Taking influences from early Napalm Death and replacing their serious standpoint with Lawnmower Deth’s frivolity. Short songs, longer songs, a conger line and a wall of death based on your pronunciation of the word scone! I think you see where I’m coming from.

Headlining was local band (in the most part) Footprints in the Custard. The majority of the crowd were obviously there for these guys and they all knew the in jokes during the set. I was a bit dubious about the band, mainly based on their odd name and albums full of silly songs. Seeing them live though, they come across as fantastic musicians and their drummer Alex is an absolute beast behind his kit.

This weekend sees another return visit to a no doubt rainy Manchester for the Devangelic gig at Aatma, the scene of my disastrous Reprisal gig a few weeks back.

This post is the fourth in my Euro road trip piece, but not for the headlining band who hail from Rome, but for fellow Italians Adversor who are tasked with the unenviable job of opening the six band show at 6:15pm.

The Venetian thrashers were scheduled to be playing the city on the same night as part of their European tour that included four British shows, their debut performances in the country. The dates were announced seemingly months ago, but nothing for this Friday seemed to materialise in the social media ether. A quick electronic message to frontman Dado soon put things straight.

Apparently the promoter for their show disappeared (a worrying trend with Mancunian promoters lately!) and left the band hanging with nowhere else to play. In the end they were late additions to this death metal show, and in all honesty they will stick out like a sore thumb alongside Sodomized Cadaver and Cranial Discharge, but they get to play in the city and it doesn’t mess up the already printed shirts!

They’re only on stage for 20 minutes or so, and I’m only really paying out to see them. So I could have easily declined to go to the event and miss out. I really like their debut album Rise to Survive though, and 20 minutes is better than nothing. Also they are a highlight from a flourishing thrash metal scene in Italy 🇮🇹 right now and I don’t know if I’d get another chance to see them without hoping on a plane.

A couple of the Italian bands have already featured in this blog, namely Game Over and Ultra-Violence, two bands I’d really like to catch live. Throw Vexovoid, Burning Nitrum, Mass Execution and National Suicide on to the bucket list and I’d get to observe some great thrash metal live. If only British audiences lapped up retro thrash as much as the continent does and became more educated to bands outside of the media friendly pack, rather than waiting to be told what’s good and what’s not. Explore the web a bit and see what crops up.

Hopefully on Friday I’ll have the bands sophomore release The End of Mankind in my sweaty mits and have been blown away but some thrash metal from the land of the gladiators. Ignoble Blackmail is taken from that latest album and should be readily available through Punishment 18 Records in the next few weeks.

I’m so tempted to jump on a train and see the band in London on Saturday, if only return trains went a few hours later to the north! If you’re Camden Town way go and visit the Devonshire Arms, the gig there is free.

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