The more I keep looking at that Sunday lineup at the Outbreak Festival the more I keep thinking to myself I need to be there. The final three bands on their own would be a worthy road trip as a stand alone show. Cro-Mags, Broken Teeth and London stalwarts Knuckledust sandwiched in between.
Ray, Wema, Nic and Pierre forged their legacy back in North East London suburbs in 1996 and twenty one years later the same four guys – now definitely older and hopefully wiser – are still the respected flag bearers for the UK hardcore scene.
Over the years I’ve seen them in excess of twenty times – not bad going as they’ve never played locally to me (unless I missed it). The majority of those shows were all in the mid to late 90’s. There was a long gap of nearly a decade until I caught up with them again in 2010 when they played Manchester with Sick of it All and Madball. In the seven years since I’ve not had the opportunity to see them perform. I think their lax approach towards touring has probably helped with their longevity.
The first time I saw them as young whipper snappers was in Sheffield in 1996, I believe it was their first excursion outside of the nations capital. They opened a bill that also saw Unborn, Schmuck (who later became Canvas), Blood Green and Vengeance of Gaia play a feisty show, eventually filled with ill feeling at Morrisey’s Riverside in Sheffield.
I knew the bass player of Blood Green – Foster, and got invited up to the Steel City for the gig. As I had a car I was tasked with picking up one of the bands from the bus station. It turned out to be the young Londoners, who’d made the journey up to South Yorkshire with all their gear on coach.
They should of played the Rigger in Stoke on Trent in 2000 when I tried to arrange them and Freebase to play the venue the day before my wedding as a kind of unofficial stag do. There were problems on the motorway (nothing changes) for both bands, some members made it to the Potteries some didn’t. Needless to say the show never happened.
I’ve seen them all over England at a time where the UK scene seemed to have a lot more camaraderie and in general felt like a much more welcoming place for people to attend. Almost all of those early bands disbanded at a similar time and new blood came through. More divisions and cliques seemed to appear and I just drifted away. I still enjoy the music but as an ageing guy I don’t necessarily enjoy the atmosphere generated at many hardcore shows that I’ve attended in the last half a dozen years or so. Crowd killing. What is that all about?
A bit of a quick trivia question for those who’ve read this far. Can you name any other bands who’ve been going for a length of time with their original line up intact? I can think of one band with out researching it. When you do think of a band you’d be surprised how many people appear in the alumni section.
Humanity’s Nightmare was released last year on their sixth album Songs of Sacrifice by their long time Dutch record label GSR. Well worth checking out.