The Underworld Camden 13th December 2014.
So it’s that time of year again, Christmas time and my Facebook invites are through the roof with gig offers. Sadly, I can’t attend them all, but tonight’s offering promised to be very special indeed, as it featured four of the best live bands out there today, in my opinion anyway! I’ve grouped them in this paraphrase, which amazingly, works very well… an Evil Bull-Riffed Messiah and his Savage Scarecrow, Lawnmower a Stampede to Deth, we the crowd are the stampede, which isn’t all that far from the truth, now I sit here, writing this review, in the comfort of my own home!!
It’s not often I leave the Shire (Derbyshire) so for me to do so, means it has to be a very special occasion and oh yes, it was! The destination for tonight’s gig, was the fabulous music mecca, that is Camden Town down in London. I left early to get down in plenty of time. The venue tonight was The Underworld, which is a new one for me, so I wasn’t too sure what to expect. The venue itself is a great set up and very well known, it is in a great location, but what lets it down for me is the lighting. Being in a basement, meant that even with minus temperatures outside, inside quickly became a sweaty mess, what with tonight being a sell out!
First up were Bull-Riff Stampede, who are a band that I’ve not had the privilege of seeing for some time now. That may be because they are currently locked away in the studio, currently writing and recording a new album which is due to be released in 2015 (touch wood). These guys are full on thrash-tastic and produce a death defying blow to all the senses. I absolutely loved tonight set, all be it too short. This was because the band had another gig that night, on the other side of the country, where they were due to perform for one in a series of fund raising gigs, called Head Bangers Balls, which hopes to raise a lot of money for the Charity that aids the cause for the Teenage Cancer Trust, so well done lads for that!
Next up, another band I love, musically and that’s Savage Messiah. What a great year it’s been for these guys, which saw them release their storming new album, ‘The Fateful Dark’. Sadly, that album didn’t feature in my top 10 this year, as there has been so many other great albums released that I simply ran out of space, but it would certainly feature in my top 20! Tonight’s set was as good as any of the previous 10 or so times I’ve seen these guys play, if not better and they certainly set the room on fire tonight. These guys are set to tour with Amon Amarth in January 2015 and that promises to be a tour not to miss. Also, after talking with Mr. Dave Silver (Lead vocals/guitars) there may be a new album on the horizon set to be released in 2015 (nothing has been officially confirmed) but that would make my year, two albums in two years, go, go gadget thumbs!!!!
Evil Scarecrow next, who have had one of their best years to date, as far as commercial success is concerned and quite rightly so! To re-cap, they featured on the main stage, Saturday, at Bloodstock festival, which had one of the biggest crowds of the weekend. They finally released a new album, titled Galactic Hunt (cheeky little c**ts) which was all made possible, thanks to the fan funded website, Pledge. This album does feature in my Top 10 albums this year, as its simply fantastic! They also had one of the best write ups, for a Parody band, in Metal Hammer magazine, a stonking four page spread, which was a great read. To top off a great year, they had feature here tonight which is truly well deserved and all in attendance would agree!
The usual mayhem featured tonight, but the best bit was when the bounciest drummer in the country threw out party poppers into the crowd. Even after Dr. Hell stated there was to be no premature popping, some idiot still had to do it, however, the rest of us, as instructed waited for the intro for “War” to kick in, at which point everyone released their party poppers into the air! Much fun was had during this set, but seeing the band all dressed up in Christmas attire, was priceless, who knew Dr. Hell celebrated Christmas, I certainly didn’t!
Tonight’s grand finally, were non other than Lawnmower Deth, who have had one of their busiest years to date, as far as gigs and festival appearances go and I can see why. If you go to a gig, you want to be excited about going out and having a party vibe and these guys deliver the fun, in abundance! Fans from all over the globe attended tonight, some flew in from America even, which was clearly appreciated when Pete made a heart felt announcement about the fact! Seeing Pete take to the stage in a snowman onesie was also priceless, I might add!
The band re-released their biggest commercial album, ‘Ooh Crikey It’s Lawnmower Deth’, on vinyl this year which I had to get a copy of! To celebrate, tonight’s set was a complete rendition of that album, which features a mind blowing thirty five tracks, although several of those are only ten seconds long, haha! Well, if it’s good enough for Linkin Park and Metallica, it’s good enough for these guys! It was chaos, let me tell you! We had crowd surfers a plenty, a guy dressing a Christmas tree live on stage with only ten seconds to do so and we had a guest appearance, from Kremated vocalist, Pete Dee.
All I can say is, these guys will be out and about in 2015, so watch out for announcements very soon!
That just leaves me to say, Merry Christmas music fans and have a music-tastic new year! P.S buy more vinyl!
Review and Photography by Jay Hawkins (JJ Photography UK)