Accelerated Mutation

Once again Iron Maiden were stunning last night in Manchester. Unusually for them they were a bit sloppy in places, but nothing to serious to detract from the overall ambiance of the evening. Tonight sees a change in direction and aggression though. 

A quarter of a century after the first Campaign for Musical Destruction tour featuring Napalm Death, Obituary and Dismember, international grindcore “super group” Lock Up are opening up proceedings. Since their inception in 1998 it’s always been a Shane Embury and friends project. Over the years members of Terrorizer, Criminal, Cradle of Filth, Nuclear Assault, Hypocrisy, At The Gates, Brutal Truth and Carcass have all been involved with the band in some way.  

 

I thought I’d seen them live before, a long time ago, but apparently tonight will be my first time. I had a suspicion I’d seen them in Stoke, but I think I’m confusing that with another band with a bassist that appeared with Brujeria – Divine Heresy. I was also pretty sure they’d played Bloodstock but that is a negative too. 

They played the ‘kin hell fest in Leeds in 2014 which I was at but unfortunately I was at the wrong day of the three. They played on Friday and I was only in attendance for the Sunday. 

Looking trough the setlist.fm site they’ve only performed six times prior to this run (again assuming it’s accurate and up to date). I surprised myself to see that I wasn’t at the 2009 edition of the Damnation festival where they played alongside Destruction and Life of Agony, two bands I’ll travel to see. Maybe it was the majority of that years line up that put me off?

They are another band that have passed me by over the last eighteen years. Their debut album came out in 1999 when I was being a bit more adult by arranging and saving for my wedding the year later. There’s a bleak period in my gig timeline where shows completely tailed off for a number of years and it was definitely more quality over quantity to my gigging and purchasing. 

Friends raved about how good the Demonization album released this year was so I checked it out via Spotify with some trepidation, I think I was expecting not to like it as I’ve never been a fan of Brutal Truth’s vocals and Kevin Sharp from said band is supplying the vocal barrage for the album and subsequent tour. I’m glad I gave it a go as I was suitably enthralled. It just means i now have to be in Birmingham and Manchester early to catch them as doors open. 

Accelerated Mutation is from the Necropolis Transparent album from 2011. 

La Ley del Plomo

Well that was a pretty impressive start to the first evening of eight days away from work. 

Back home and reasonably well rested after  five hours sleep. Not booking a hotel for our Dublin trip wasn’t the best idea we’ve ever come up with, but it worked out well for us, considering we had to be at the airport around 5am regardless. 

The biggest stumbling block with the no hotel money saving experience was me having to be in work at 5am Saturday before a noon train to the airport. Staying awake was a bit tough at some points, but I survived twenty nine hours without a sustained amount of sleep. I think I got two fifteen minute blasts in the airport. No sleep ’till Stoke!

The Iron Maiden performance was absolutely on point again yesterday within the walls of the old Point Depot (now the more boring 3 Arena) on the outskirts of the city. We sampled several drinks at local drinking establishments during the shuffle along the edge of the Liffy and arrived minutes after Shinedown had exited the stage, good timing for some. I can put that right in a little over twenty four hours when I drag this old and broken body to Manchester tomorrow to experience some weird kind of Groundhog Day. 

Tuesday sees this weeks relentless schedule continue with a trip south to Birmingham for the Napalm Death doss. To be honest though I’m more interested in the support acts, which will be more apparent by the time Thursday’s repeat performance lumbers into sight, but I’ll hang around to see the headliners in a few days. 

I thought Brujeria’s impending performance at this years Bloodstock Festival was due to be their UK debut (imagine that, Bloodstock with its current trends booking a band who’ve never played the festival!). This quartet of British dates was announced after their festival confirmation and subsequently trumped their exclusivity boast. Having done a brief bit of research it’s not even their debut shows here. They’ve played a handful of gigs here before on a very irregular basis. 

This deathgrind band (a hybrid grindcore and death metal) comprises of masked Latino gangsters and have a bass player, Hongo, who has a remarkable resemblance to the headline acts bass player Shane Embury. If it actually was Embury behind the bandanna he’d have earned his fees on this tour playing in three of the four bands performing every night.  

Brujeria’s seeds as a band were sown as far back as the late 1980’s, with the debut single ¡Demoniaco! surfacing in 1990. My first insight into the band was via their gruesome 1992 7″ single ¡Machetazos! followed by the controversial debut album Matando Güero with its album sleeve featuring a severed head being held aloft. The head subsequently became the band’s mascot Coco Loco. 

Last year saw their fourth album Pocho Aztian released by Nuclear Blast, sixteen years after Brujerizmo saw the light of day. I guess it must be hard to run a drugs cartel and write and record a new album. With the bands (kayfabe) anti American stance it was no surprise to see the single Viva Presidente Trump! released in the same year. Up until that point and following Donald Trump’s subsequent election, I don’t think I’d ever seen a Brujeria shirt. Now this anti Trump shirt is almost as popular (and controversial) as Municipal Waste’s walls of death garment. 

La Ley del Plomo (The Laws of Lead) was included on the 1995 sophomore album Raza Odiada and the video is probably a bit more suitable for home viewing compared to some of their promotional videos I’ve seen. 


Time Warp


 

Next week may see me donning the lab coat, fishnet stockings, basque and high heels for the first time in years*. The Rocky Horror Show is in town for eight performances, and if I can fit in an available showing on an evening when I’m free I think we’ll be heading off.

I saw the film way before I saw the stage show, but it’s one of those curious things as I don’t recall why I actually watched the film in the first place. On reflection I can’t actually tell you why the film appeals to me, but how can you go wrong with a kitsch horror and science fiction transgender cross over show set to music?  Whatever the reason may be its great fun.

I’d hazard a guess as it was down to Richard O’Brian’s association to it as I enjoyed the way he hosted the TV game show The Crystal Maze back in the early 1990’s. More often than not he was more entertains that the group of contestants he lead through the maze.

Maybe it was Meatloaf’s portrait of biker zombie Eddie that drew me to it, as Bat Out Of Hell is a favourite song of mine (which I need to get around to posting!). Or possibly I was intrigued in seeing Tim Curry in it after watching him portray Pennywise the clown in Stephen King’s It? I might have even been expecting more of a hammer horror style film?

Whatever the reason is for me watching it on TV for the very first time it left an imprint on me and I’ve liked it ever since. I’ve seen the theatre performance locally at least twice, maybe more, and it’s something I’d love to see in London’s West End or Broadway in New York. Failing either one of those one of the midnight shadow cast cinema showings would suffice.

Anyway, you know what’s next. It’s just a jump to the left…

 

* I actually haven’t got the self confidence to wear the outfit in the house, let alone entertain the idea of going out in public dressed like that, fair play to those that do though. But it’s an image now imprinted on my brain that I can’t shift.