Co-headlining the Battle of the Bays tour are thrash pioneers Exodus – one of my top bands in that genre – and probably my favourite death metal band and scene innovators Obituary.
Earlier this year Californians Exodus hit British and Irish soil for a staggering seventeen shows. I can’t recall many other visiting bands playing so many venues on a tour for a long time. Towards the end of the run I read snippets of an interview with frontman Steve ‘Zetro’ Souza about a touring package that was hitting Europe in the fall.
Usually if a band does some extensive UK touring the likelihood of that band returning here in the same year is slim to none. When mega packages like this get announced its just a quick scan through to see how many dates are in Germany and maybe, just maybe, a single solitary London date, probably on a Sunday or Monday. How refreshing that this tour is hitting five British cities. Obviously someone is going to be antsy as its not in their back yard, but I’ll take something closer to Stoke over London anytime. Manchester and Birmingham is just a delightful bonus for me.
I judge packages like this on how many of the bands I’d pay to see at a stand alone show and how far I’d consider travelling. As I’ve travelled a significant amount of miles to see both headliners – and last year I saw both in London and already this year both in the Netherlands – I’d define it as a strong line up. Prong and opening band King Parrot are also bands I’d look at travelling for an hour or so to if our schedules allowed.
That’s the same reason why I get annoyed when people moan about the price of something like this. Tickets for this cost £25 in advance by the time “service charges” have been loaded on, £5 more if you risk the door. Both headliners could do their own shows for a similar price. A Prong gig would be around the £20 mark and in the current climate King Parrot would be a tenner. That’s the best part of £80 on their own – £25 is an absolute steal.
Or with Exodus, there’s always the No Holt No Exodus excuse. He’s being paid handsomely (I’d imagine) by Slayer and I’m sure some of those dollars will be ploughed back into the band he once was a roadie for and current longest serving member.
So far I’ve included two Exodus tracks – one early classic and one from the Rob Dukes era. Now it’s time to view something much more up to date. Released in 2014 here’s the title track of the album Blood In, Blood Out – a majestic return to form from these Richmond veterans who are fast approaching their fourth decade.