I’m not ashamed to admit that I’m nowhere near as knowledgable about UK hardcore (or even the global hardcore scene) in 2017 as I was in 1997, but I just fell “out of love” with the genre some time ago.
As stated within this blog on several occasions over the past two years I just feel it lacks the camaraderie of two decades ago and all the faces I knew back then have moved on. I’m still in touch with a fair few from that period in my musical life, but not many of those people are still active on stages up and down the country.
Muttering a few words to someone back then led to an introduction to someone else which turned into a welcoming handshake from others who recognised your face and it just snowballed from there. Some of those faces from that forgotten decade, whether they were in bands or just punters like me, are still friends now and scarily I’ve known some longer than I’ve known my wife!
Maybe it’s just me heading rapidly towards 44 years old and still visiting the sweat boxes of yesteryear, but this old man doesn’t really need a random body flying through the air at a rapid rate of knots to enjoy a show. For those reasons though I haven’t been to as many hardcore shows in the last decade or so in comparison to the 24 year old me. For an accepting scene within the extreme music genre the grind and power violence crowds seem much more encompassing.
Most of my newer discoveries have been via recommendations from those in the know or generally just stumbled upon. One of the bands that blew me away in the not so distant past grace the minuscule stage upstairs in Manchester’s Star and Garter tomorrow which happens to be the same venue where I first encountered Guilt Trip.
I first put a tentative step into that unassuming and dilapidated building in the mid 1990’s and I’ve seen a plethora of bands spanning three different decades and the stage at both ends of the room! Three things still amaze me after all these years.
One, it’s still standing! It’s looked like it’s about to crumble into a pile of rubble since my first visit. That and the fact that it’s been earmarked for demolition for years makes it even more surprising.
Two, I’m sill going there. I had a pretty long gap from attending shows there, but in recent years the gig count has shoot up considerably.
Three, I’m still discovering new bands. Almost 44 years roaming this land and more than thirty years of those being immersed in music and I’m surprised I haven’t fallen by the wayside like many of my compatriots and disowned the “metal” scene (just as a term to encompass everything I listen to) or just keeping themselves within their “things were better back then” mindset.
The only other time I’ve had the pleasure to experience Guilt Trip was nearly twelve months when they were one of opening bands for Madball. Their beatdown hardcore and some guitar work that wouldn’t look out of place on a Slayer or Pantera album was simply jaw dropping.
Their most recent EP Unrelenting Force surfaced in November last year and as this 14 minute blast is available for free at their Bandcamp page, I suggest you head on over and grab a copy if you haven’t already. New material is in the pipeline.
This track is taken from that EP and in a way it’s a bit of an oxymoron for me concerning the hardcore scene at present. I still love that metallic chug and the impassioned vocals. It’s always been a movement where you’ve not necessarily had to be the most proficient musician or vocalist. Adequate used to cut it if the passion and desire was there. But on the other hand watching some of the crowd interaction leaves me cold. It doesn’t look like the semi aggressive fun we used to have. It just looks like an aggression overload.
C’est la vie.