Age Of Panic

A bit of a curve ball on the HRH Metal line up comes on the shape of London political rap rockers Senser. From the bands that I am aware of on the line up they are the least “metal” band of the weekend that I can see. 

They’re a band I’ve seen three times before and I quite like some of their stuff. The last time I saw them was on the Hammerfest 2013 stage. Prior to that was back in the mid 1990’s and both times at Nottingham’s Rock City. November 1994 then a mere three months later along with Skunk Anansie. 

I can’t recall too much about the early shows, but one of them sticks in my mind for an infamous footballing situation. When there was a much more prevalent hooligan element to England’s football following the game in ’95 was the same evening as the second Rock City show. This was an era before constant communication flow to the brain, so the first I knew about it was in the papers the next morning on my way to work. Not the best time to be a football fan and English. From memory (as I’m sitting on a train with 3G at best) the match in Dublin was abandoned. 

I never followed the band in depth, it’s just that some of their big songs like this and Switch were popular in the circles I was moving in at that time, it was also the time where I had a soft spot for bands like Blaggers ITA, Compulsion, Dub War and AOS3. Between seeing them in 1995 and again eighteen years later I couldn’t tell you want happened to the band.

Cheating though and using google (now that I’m home), the original line up now appears to be back together as I’m sure there was a different female vocalist when I saw them last. I could be wrong. As there is no one else playing at the same time I have the desire to see I’ll probably be catching some light relief between the thrashings of Savage Messiah and the bleak noise of Raging Speedhorn and I’ll guarantee this track will get the Brummie crowd bobbing. 

It’s hard to believe that this track was released on their debut album Stacked Up twenty three years ago. 1994 was the year I finished my apprenticeship and also got made redundant for the first time. How time flies when you’re having fun. 


No Sleep Till Brooklyn


November 15th marks the thirty year anniversary of Licensed To Ill by New York hip hop band Beastie Boys. Back in 1986 I was aware of the band but probably not knowingly heard them. 

Originally two of what would later morph into Beastie Boys were part of a hardcore punk band called Young Aborigines back in 1978. When they became a fully blown hip hop band after the departure of drummer Kate Schellenbach left this was their debut release for Def Jam, predominantly a hip hop label but home to thrash titans Slayer at the time. 

I don’t really know when I started appreciating the band, but I would have been drawn to the video for this track that features a cameo from Slayer’s Kerry King and the video for the previous single (You Gotta) Fight For Your Right (To Party) which features the raucous house party with members of Murphy’s Law in attendance. They were possibly one of the forerunners of the nu-metal scene that was on the horizon with their brand of hip hop mixed with rock music and guitars. 

I was aware of the band via the media and their controversial fans. They made the national papers and their fans were branded a disgrace as they were removing the round metal VW logos from Volkswagen cars because they’d seen Mike D wearing one as a necklace. Very far removed from the black metal fans that would surface a decade or so later with their church burnings and murders. 

I’m not the biggest fan of the band and didn’t really listen to much more than the singles that were released prior to Adam Yauch’s death in 2012. I think I only own a copy of this CD that I brought cheap from a liquidation sale in a store. I did get to see them live once, and that was only four songs, when they played Wembley Stadium in 2007 as part of the Live Earth London event. The wife and I only had tickets for that because Metallica played a trio of songs and they were playing the stadium the following day. We ended up leaving early, possibly after the Foo Fighters finished, and watched the end of the show on the TV in the hotel bar that was within the shadow of Wembley’s giant arch. 

It’s nice to break up the noise every once and a while and that’s pretty easy to achieve with my pretty eclectic musical tastes.