Ever since a chance meeting with guitarist Davy on a rail-replacement coach to Oslo after Tons of Rock festival back in June, I had been itching to see The Grudge play a live show and on Friday night the chance came as the guys invited me along to their headline show at The Black Heart in Camden.
First to hit the stage were Woking four-piece Gutlocker who describe themselves as “well-armed with gnarly riffs and posh accents”. We reviewed their EP Cry Havoc! back in April and interviewed the band at Bloodstock in 2016 so the band are well-known to Moshville Times, but they were brand new to me and I really enjoyed their set, particularly their closing track “Welcome To Fucktown”. Craig gave a powerful performance on vocals, and I particularly enjoyed guitarist Peter’s facial expressions as well as his dance moves!
Next up were London psychedelic stoner metal veterans Sedulus who brought their own brand of dynamic, heavy grooves to The Black heart, expertly blended with ambient and psychedelic interludes. Vocalist and bassist Will told the crowd that the band had been together for twenty years, so they must have been mere youngsters when they first started out! The band played tracks from their debut full length album The Sleepers Awaken (released April 2016) which seemed to go down very well with the steadily-growing crowd.
Third band on the line-up were London trio Butcher in the Fog who have been on my radar for a while as they made it to the quarter finals in this year’s Metal 2 The Masses London, but unfortunately I never got round to seeing them play. I heard reports of the band having a habit of stripping off during their live performances, and tonight was no different; with all three band members playing topless by the end of their set. The trio were full of energy and I really enjoyed their fast and heavy set. Despite just three of them on the stage, they filled the room with noise and the band were very popular with the crowd. Butcher in the Fog released their second full-length album A Screaming Reflection back in May 2018.
The room was packed and there was a great atmosphere as tonight’s headliners The Grudge took to the stage, opening their set with “Ding Ding The Monkey”. Vocalist Keith was full of attitude and each member of the band put 110% into their performance. The Grudge have a brilliant groovy/progressive/melodic/hard rock mix in their sound and clearly have a cult following. The band played a great set featuring songs from their debut album Riding With The Kings (released back in June) including “The Cover Up”, “Viking Queen” and “The Effect of Transylvania”. They also played their track “Long Live The Peel” – a tribute to the iconic Kingston live music venue that sadly closed its doors for good a few years ago, and is now being turned into fancy flats. Boo. The Grudge closed their triumphant set with my personal favourite “Soul Dragger”, which was a brilliant end to the evening.
The Grudge return to the London stage on 25th November supporting Nashville Pussy at The Underworld. Check out their Facebook page for a full list of their up-coming live shows, and if you want to learn more about the band make sure you read our Band of the Day feature published back in July.