Time for a comeback with the eloquently-named “In Your Fucking Face” tour, Biohazard once again returned to these shores with no fewer than three bands in tow. Due to being buried in work and just being tired, I missed openers Dripback (who I gather feature a member of Sonishphere’s publicity team on bass).
I got to King Tut’s Wah Wah Hut (best venue name ever) in time to sup a pint of their name-brand beer while catching the tail end of Lionheart’s set. Typical hardcore – bouncy, rhythmic, angry and fronted by a scary guy wearing tattoos and a bandana. A decent reception from the crowd, too. The venue is the kind where the band walk of stage via the crowd so they’re buggered if nobody likes them.
As I waited for the next act to some on, a couple of guys with fairly posh English accents excused themselves to get past and started sorting kit out on stage. It turns out that these very young men with their posh accents were the next support act, Heights. As they themselves admitted whilst on stage, they were somewhat out of place on the bill but they made the most of it.
Playing a more heavy, thrashy, deathy kind of set they were definitely not playing to a crowd which would automatically accept them. However, they showed no nerves, took no bullshit and played a blinder. Frankly, for a bunch of guys that young it was a hell of an energetic and charismatic set. The moment the first chord was struck they changed from a bunch of university muppets into five rather insane and scary beanpoles.
Hanging from the ceiling, climbing the barrier and posing on the monitors they looked like they owned the damn place.
Helped by a small bunch of their local fans, I genuinely think they went down surprisingly well. Certainly, there was none of the jeering that Orange got before Reel Big Fish the previous night. Or the shouts of “shit!” and glasses of water (probably) thrown at Bring Me The Horizon prior to Machine Head coming on stage (mind you, that was justified – they were bloody awful).
As I mentioned before, the venue is pretty small. As such, it was possible to talk to most of Biohazard as they warmed up and set up their kit for the set. Several of the audience took the opportunity to do so, grabbing some photos and a handshake. It was very much like being at a small gig where your friends were playing on stage. No pretence, no “we’re better than you” bullshit. Just some guys hanging with their mates before jumping on stage and rocking the living shit out of them.
And such they did.
As with RBF the night before, I’m not a huge fan of Biohazard in as much as I don’t really know much of their stuff. The last time I saw them was maybe 1994 or something, back at Bradford Rios when it was still good an attracted a lot of big names. One thing I do know is that they have a reputation. They certainly lived up to it.
Current frontman/guitarist Billy Graziadei was as pumped up and angry as any hardcore lead should be. No messing about, by the first chorus he was in the crowd, standing on their shoulders and being carried around. This was repeated towards the end of the set.
The barrier was chastised and (with the blessing of the two security staff), fans were invited to get on the stage and hurl themselves back off. A handful rose to it, but the barrier did make a difference to how easy this would be.
With a set running to just under ninety minutes, they played a good variety of songs including the one I really do know (from my Radio RamAir days), “Shades of Grey”. Other than a break in the proceedings to raise a glass to a drummer Danny Schuler’s fifth stint at fatherhood (with free beer – thank you!), the show was pretty relentless and hugely enjoyable.
I had to admit that I was surprised that they had chosen such a small venue for this tour, good though its reputation may be. It surprised me more not to see it completely jammed, though I don’t know if this is normal and they just keep numbers low for licensing/security. Whatever, it was a perfect atmosphere with great sound for a band with their stature to play an nice, intimate gig.
Definitely a band I’ll be looking forward to seeing again.