Quite the bill and quite the night raising quite an impressive sum for a very deserving cause. 248 miles each way plus a hotel stay for us to go to the gig, but this was one I wasn’t missing. Not with that line-up!
We got there dot on 7:30 for doors opening, but unfortunately the queue took about 15 minutes to shift so we missed half of openers Line of Fire. I mean, who organises a gig with a cracking opening band then has them on-stage when people are still queueing outside? Oh, wait – Bullet for my Valentine would… [Lawnmower Deth‘s first gig as a reformed band and almost nobody who went to see them got in in time]
LD’s Paddy plays guitar for these groove rockers and they were decent enough from what little I heard of them. I confess that I was queueing at the bar from the moment we got in (quite reasonable prices, it must be said) so I did only listen and not watch. Hence the lack of photos as well. Sorry, guys. Hey, at least I bought your CD.
Fully armed with shots and pints, we awaited the entrance of Re-Animator. A band I have been waiting to see live for over twenty years. I can’t remember where/when/how I got hold of their album Condemned to Eternity (might have been a radio competition prize), but I listened to it again recently and it’s still a damn fine piece of thrash.
The Hull-based five-piece sounded as if they’d never taken that lengthy hiatus. I have no idea if it was the original line-up, or the slightly changed one that did their final album but they sounded great and rattled through a set that was far, far too short. It must feel amazing to be on stage for the first time in 25 years and still hear people singing your lyrics back at you.
Xentrix are another band who made a welcome re-appearance this year, and they’ve also announced a couple of dates in 2014. They’re also another band I never got to see back in the day despite them being one of the major British thrash acts.
Again, their set was short (or at least shorter than anyone there would have liked, but there was no way to get a full headline set from all four bands) but it covered a fair bit of their material. Except… there was no “Ghostbusters” cover. WAH! Honestly, of all the tracks Xentrix are known for this one is their most famous. I suppose you get sick of being known for one thing after a while, but it was a shame.
But, finally, almost five years after they reformed, I got to see Lawnmower Deth again. The first band I ever stage-dived to. The first band I ever fish-danced to. The first band I ever bought a dodgy cover of a Kim Wilde song by.
I am glad to report that they’re still every bit as tonto as they ever were. My drunk memory (a few more pints and shots had worked their way belly-wards by the time they came on stage and I ended up down the front – with camera – so I’ve actually got some decent video footage as well. Sadly, it seemed I wasn’t recording at the point where I fell on my arse.
There were so many hits in there that I’m struggling to remember them all. Sumo Rabbit made an appearance for his song (though he does look like a squirrel), trampolines didn’t appear for “Satan’s Trampoline”, a ukelele was unveiled for a cover of “So Here It Is, Merry Christmas”… and almost all the lyrics were remembered. Very few cockups were made. Most of the songs were completed without error.
Lawnmower Deth always were a fun band, from the beginning and up to today. They were never about the music (which is a good thing, really), but about having a laugh.= and not giving a crap about anything else.
As such, they’re the perfect act to be raising money for the S.O.P.H.I.E. charity. In the run-up to the gig, the band organised raffles and auctions. In addition, there was a whip-round at the gig itself. Sophie’s brother made a very rare appearance on stage to thank everyone for the money raised – their mum usually does the public speaking.
Not including some guest list agreement they have with Rock City in 2014, the band raised over £4,500 for the charity simply by encouraging people to have fun. As the compére said at the end as he was collecting cash in a big jug, this is the true face of rock, metal and the whole “alternative” scene. People who don’t care what the person next to them looks like, dresses like or does for fun.
Truly a great gig and I for one hope the band can scrape together the funds for a mini-tour sometime. I don’t think we could afford such a long round trip to see them again!
- Lawnmower Deth running auction/raffle in aid of S.O.P.H.I.E. (moshville.co.uk)
- New Band of the Day: Line of Fire (moshville.co.uk)