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Black Sabbath (live at the Manchester Arena)

18 December 2013

Pantomime season is once more upon us, and the heaviest and most bludgeoning pantomime of all is rolling into town. My first ever concert was Black Sabbath – a scary 38 years ago, and so when a friend who couldn’t make this week’s reunion tour offered me his ticket at a Christmas party last weekend, I was sufficiently inebriated to be unable to refuse.

Arriving at the vast and horribly-named Phones 4U Arena (the largest venue in the EU apparently) in the sober twilight of early evening, I was having serious reservations. I generally avoid venues which are big enough to not be on first name terms with the audience. On top of that, Bill Ward won’t be present and Ozzy‘s lifestyle hasn’t been kind to his voice – oh dear. On the other hand, I felt similarly sceptical about this year’s 13 album, which turned out

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Black Sabbath (live at the O2 Arena)

Black Sabbath live December 2013London 10 December 2013

We leave the pub and head down towards Entrance F. The night is cold and dark, breath highlighted as white wisps against the blackness, lights pinpoint bright like stars. It’s perfect.

And now the excitement is building, as the phalanxes of the black-clad, the long-haired and silver jewellery-bedecked are massing. What a truly a rag-tag army it is too, as diverse in its composition as the city we are now in, a polyglot horde descending on the North Greenwich peninsula united by one thing – an unquestioning love of Birmingham’s finest export to the world.* In front of me is a large group of footsoldiers from Colombia, filling the air with excited Latin American Spanish: “Hombre, esto va a ser incréíble! Esta

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Snares – Sabbath Dubs

Kriss

Sanres - Sabbath Dubs Donning a swift alter-ego for a heavyweight re-rendering of a pair of Black Sabbath classics, Aaron Funk proves that he’s as adept at the dub(step) as he is at splattery digital grinds when the Venetian part is elided from his Snares moniker. It also comes as no surprise that the record should appear on Bong-Ra‘s label Kriss, given his [post=”bong-ra-grindkrusher” text=”penchant for mashing up old-school grindcore in a breakcore style”] himself.

One for stoners of both the rock and dub variety everywhere, the lovely marbled green 10″ vinyl heaves with heaviosity, the splicing of “Black Sabbath” with wobble-bass is one reggification which works on so many levels, and it sounds like the tune was made for splicing into a dubstep haze of clattery drums and earth-shuddering low end. Funk’s bassline follows the original so closely that it’s

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