Last Thursday marked my first gig at a British venue since I saw Fallen at the Underground in Stoke at the end of May. I had a drive eastwards along the A50 to Nottingham to catch Californian death metal quartet Skeletal Remains play at the Running Horse.
I have to be up front here but until I was doing my Hellfest “research” before my foray to Nantes I’d never heard anything by the band, I actually don’t think I’d even seen the name mentioned anywhere. Once I’d heard their 1990’s inspired riffs they immediately made it on to my must see list of bands to see at the Gaul festival.
Much like current death metal darlings Gruesome, Skeletal Remains are not reinventing the wheel over their two albums and they have used every cliche possible from the productive Morrisound era of the genre, but they do it extremely well. There’s a huge nod to Dutch outfit Pestilence’s early output and especially with that deathly Martin Van Drunen growl.
Their early slot on the Altar stage on Friday back on June 17th was their first date on the absolutely epic European Bloodfeast tour which has crisscrossed the continent and carries on into the early days of August. My original plans for last weekends Dynamo Metal Festival should of included their set as part of the festivals pre-party the night before, but as we ended up decamping to Amsterdam a three hour round trip on the train two days running was not viable or economical.
After a straight forward 70 minute drive we got parked up close to the small venue and paid our £5 to get in. I can’t remember the last time I paid such a lowly sum to see a band from the States. Their short set was absolutely crushing. The venue was no Madison Square Garden, but they performed as if they were at somewhere much bigger, rather than a pub that has shoved the tables to the side of the room, and in front of thousands as I’d seen them a month ago, rather than the paltry 30 people in attendance.
Actually that 30 was technically less than that. Once you remove the nine members of the opening acts (who all remained to the end which was excellent to see), the promoters and the headliners van driver from the equation, less than 20 people walked up to the door and handed over a fiver (less than €6 or $7 in today’s weird economic climate in this country).
Yet again it could be a band who may think again about coming here if they based their schedule around attendances. If they all went ahead this should have been the final UK date of a 5 show run, their debut gigs over here I believe. But can you blame them?
Here’s that word I seem to have used a lot lately – apathy. This particular show seems to have been advertised well, and according to the Facebook event page 52 people were attending with another 104 interested. It was held in the ninth biggest urban conurbation in the UK and still less than 20 people can be bothered to turn up and at least two of us made the close on 200km round trip to attend. That, and the fact they had no shirts for sale, was the biggest disappointment on the evening, but those of us who braved a warm summer night had a blast of pummelling Stateside death metal.
As I said above I’d never heard of them until a month ago and I might not have driven there on a whim otherwise, but if It was local to me, I was available to attend and I saw a flyer with an American death metal band on it for £5 I’d pop along out of sheer curiosity.
Obscured Velitation can be found on the bands second album Condemned To Misery that surfaced last year. It’s probably just me with my basic vocabulary, but I had to check out the word velitation as the red dotted line appeared below it, but it is an actual word and not a spelling mistake! 😉