[For the full set of pictures from the gig on Flickr, please follow this link]
Finally, the last concert of a five-gig-week. Again, Gillian couldn’t manage partly due to the whole pregnancy thing and again we couldn’t dispose of a spare ticket. Seriously, people – this was Napalm frickin’ Death! Given the length of the Brummie quartet’s set, this made it one of the most expensive gigs (per minute) that I think I’ve ever been to. Eek.
The last time I saw Napalm Death was in London at the Camden Underworld with Amy while she was at Veterinary College nearby. That night ended with me stage-diving for the first time in years (most venues won’t allow it any more – bloody ambulance-chasing lawyers and health & safety), helping a guy with a concussion focus before the ambulance arrived and Amy getting a bar job. Not a bad evening, all in all.
This time round, I missed the two support acts and got there in good time for Napalm Death to hit the (small) stage. Ivory Blacks is one of the smallest venues in Glasgow with a capacity of, I believe, 283. It was well on the way to that by my estimation. I collected the obligatory pint, wandered comfortably to the barrier at the front of the stage and awaited the noise.
It’s hard to believe they’ve been going since 1981. And also that they feature precisely none of the founding members. What is always guaranteed is a good show.
Barney is a great guy and – like Ginger on Thursday night – more than happy to have some banter with the crowd. He’s also a bit of a politico. Imagine Mark Thomas only with metal to back him up. The tracks they ran through covered the entire history of the band, though perhaps didn’t hit every single album. I confess to not being a huge expert on them.
I did recognise a handful of songs, though, including one of the best cover versions you’ll hear live – the ever-present “Nazi Punks Fuck Off“, originally by the Dead Kennedys. If you can’t follow the chorus to that beauty, then you’re as well giving up now and buying the latest Justin Bieber album. Then killing yourself.
Another two covers of bands I’d never heard of rounded out the disappointingly short hour-long set. For the duration of the aural battering, the crowd was free to surf and stagedive, “security” for this handled by one poor bugger in a white shirt who didn’t complain once – not even when he took an accidental foot to the face. In other words, an excellent venue. The sound was great and it’s a venue that really suits a band like Napalm Death.
Still, £16+ per ticket is quite a sum for a small gig that only lasts an hour.