The Underworld, London 18 April 2011
From the very first beer-waving introduction to the crowd eagerly awaiting the return to what would seem to be their favourite London home from home, Weedeater arrive in cheery mood, lapping up the adulation and ripping straight into a fearsome “God Luck and Good Speed,” as powerful a statement of intent as any sludge-doom-stoner-rock band is ever likely to open a show with. Bassist Dixie hams up the eye-rolling, Jack-swilling and head-slapping goofiness, but as ever, his presence onstage is a combination of the leeringly weird and the snarling hardcore punk attitude squeezed through a mincer of Southern rock cavortings and high-kicking, four-stringed catharsis. The sound is suitably dense, and Shep keeps his guitar nonchalantly turned to 11 while shredding without seeming to move from the spot between saluting the audience with his beercan; and as ever,
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The Underworld, London 17 June 2010
With their tattooed limbs and trucker caps, their wall-eyed glares and N’Awlins shirts that might never actually have seen better days, Weedeater strike about as Southern image as can be imagined, straight out of Wilmington, North Carolina via the casting for a Rob Zombie slasher flick soundtracked by the leavings of the stoner blues. Set down like they were at home on the stage of Camden’s darkest haven of all things heavy and metal, the trio’s sprays of small blond dreads, forked-viper scraggly beard or the smeared pencil moustache of guitarist Shep‘s greasemonkey suavity are the hirsute equivalent of their gear from messers Marshall, Ampeg and Sunn making up the backline of battered cabs whose grilles are held together with gaffer tape as much as screws.
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The Underworld, London 15 July 2008
The first time I came across Part Chimp, a few years back, they were tipped as The Loudest Band in London, but now that the reanimated corpse of My Bloody Valentine has reclaimed that title with its rotting, maggoty fingers, Part Chimp have mellowed a little. They’ve also shed a bass player recently, and no doubt that has something to do with it. In any case, the volume level as they open this night at the Underworld has eased from “blistering” to something more like “mild sunburn”. Their songs have matured to fill the volume vacuum, though; whereas they previously played Black Sabbath riffs at ketamine speed and relied on sheer decibel level to get their message across, the band now have room for a little more complexity and, god forbid, even a little subtlety. There was this one Spinal Tap moment when one
Continue reading Oxbow/Harvey Milk/Part Chimp (live) [...]
The Underworld, London 10 and 12 February 2008 The day after a chunk of Camden Market burnt down, Southern Lord’s finest black metal act touch down in The Underworld. Thankfully the conflagration was at the other end of the High Street, so the gig continued as scheduled with the only hint that something had occured being the line of police officers across the road by the tube station.
Support act Naked Shit are notable not only for their terrible name, which at least sparks debate as to whether it’s a nude turd or an excretion performed in the altogether, but for the presence of a horse as the bass player. Ok, so it’s really a man in a suit with a
Continue reading Wolves In The Throne Room/Naked Shit – Earth/Sir Richard Bishop (live) [...]
The Underworld, London 2nd December 2000
What was supposed to be a World Serpent presents show with Sol Invictus, Sorrow, and Ostara turned out to be a lot less/more, depending on how you look at it. Due to illness, Tony Wakeford and Sol Invictus were forced to cancel, and due to lateness(my own), I missed seeing Ostara. I did arrive in time to catch the end of a set by some man called Joe, who I have yet to identify. His acoustic guitar and John Denver-ish lyrics seemed really very out of place and I wondered if it was someone’s idea of a fun joke to play on the black-clad, maquiage extrodinaire who had obviously come in search of the dark sonics which help mainline World Serpent.
To the pleasant shock of everybody, this guy Joe was suddenly joined onstage by none other than David Tibet and Michael Cashmore, and
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The Underworld, London 28th January 2000
Dead Voices On Air are conducting a bit of an experiment on the London leg of their tour, starting off loud, noisy and danceable and trailing down into ambient passages of extended mood workouts. Mark Spybey and Darren Phillips man the keyboards, sequencers, samplers, digital technology; Darryl Neudorf is behind a bare drumkit (complete with fluffy liner on one drum). So they kick off into a post-Industrial Dance groove, and instantly several key signifiers make links to everyone from Coil (arpeggiating keyboard weirdnesses, atmosphere), Psychic TV (the stripped analogue beats, the moments of ecstatic upness) and of course fellow Vancouverians and fellow-travellers Download (that digital Techno-noise, the earnest need for cathartic harshness). Largely instrumental, the only moment of vocal outpouring comes during a heavy-skanking Techno Dub, when the words “I hate who you are” become the mantra of the minute and the atmosphere becomes
Continue reading Michael Rother & Dieter Moebius/Dead Voices On Air (live) [...]
Along the Dotted Line…
12th December 1999
The Legendary Pink Dots are a phenomenon, producing a seemingly endless stream of deeply intense records and genuinely spellbinding live shows for nearly twenty years, initially as a London-based group and for more than a decade now from their Nijmegen base in The Netherlands. While former days on mammoth independent label Play It Again Sam in Belgium produced widespread distribution for a series of classic albums, it also had all the negative aspects of association with the near-majors; the linking of sales to popularity and promotion to potential Indie chart success. For a while the band were in small-scale, own-label limbo, before the saving graces of Brainwashed‘s excellent LPD internet site and the support of first Staalplaat in Amsterdam, and then Soleilmoon in Portland, Oregon restored and replenished their status as one of the most strangely neglected of Britain and Europe’s true
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The Underworld, London 5th November 1999
Back at The Underworld for the second time in six months, follwowing on from an absence from their founders’ homeland of six years, The Legendary Pink Dots bring home their unique format of intense live musical performance at the tail end of yet another whirlwind European tour organised due to public demand. Tonight there’s no support, just two hours of the finest Dots songs, honed and polished to perfection.
With old friend Martijn de Kleer back on guitar and sharing drums with Ryan Moore (who also sometimes plays bass simultaneously), and The Silverman intent in his electronic grotto, the Dots get into gear as Edward Ka-Spel arrives barefoot and canary-yellow-coated. As the show kicks off, it rapidly develops into an event replete with its own incandescent contributions to Firework Night, including the irrisistably funky groove of the cynically post-apocalyptic “As Long As It’s Purple
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