By your friendly webmaster
This is the verdict on the Raging Speedhorn / Clutch / Candiria / Dukes Of Nothing gig at the ex-LA2, attended by me, Bonzo, a few hundred chugga-wheee kids, three members of Orange Goblin, one of Hangnail and some people with beards.
DUKES OF NOTHING
Put it this way: the doors opened at 7:00, the Dukes were on at 7:15 and rocked mightily for the next 25 minutes. How they managed that length of set I will never know (see below) - but let's just say the whole lot passed in a blur of distorted white noise similar to what Entombed might sound like if they took large quantities of speed and jammed with an equally pumped-up Motörhead, and the whole thing was played at double speed. I've been waiting for this since I saw DON supporting Spirit Caravan and Cathedral back in July, and I wasn't let down at all. Never before has so much rockularity been crammed into such a small space of time. The set could only have been spoiled for some by the scandalously early start time - the number of people I heard complaining that they'd missed the Dukes was too many to count, and whoever decided they should be on so soon after the doors opening deserves a slap. What the hell, I made sure I was there and it was one hell of a ride, just as it had been in July. Fanfuckingtastic.
Better still, the DON "album" finally emerged, with copies on sale for a fiver at the back - which were soon bought up by most people who had arrived early enough to witness the Dukes' racket. I say "album" in quotes because I've already listened to it twice through in the time I've been home from the gig... its eight tracks clock in collectively at a gargantuan 16 minutes and 36 seconds (so where did they get the extra ten minutes in the live set from?), and is now the shortest album I've ever bought by a clear ten minutes. Hatebreed have been well beaten! If that doesn't tell anyone what the Dukes are like once and for all, nothing will... and, given that three of the Dukes used to be in Iron Monkey, who wrote one track (Nine Joint Spiritual Whip, for those who don't know) that's longer than this entire record, I suppose it's even more of a turn up for the books. I still have no idea when (or if!) it'll ever be in the shops, but have a word with Eccentric Man records. Now let's all take bets on whether HMV will try to charge 15 quid for it!
Kiran from Vae Solis rates this band as one of the best he's ever heard. What drugs he was on at the time I have no idea, but they were truly awful. Imagine what would happen if the Dillinger Escape Plan tried to trade in their aggression for huge slabs of rap and funk. Doesn't bear thinking about, does it? What's more the vocalist wore his jeans so low that you could see more than half his designer underpants. I was waiting for them to fall down so he'd look a right tit, but they didn't. To quote one of Carl's recent reviews, and the opening scene of This Is Spinal Tap, SHIT SANDWICH!
Rather alarmingly, the front had filled up with youngsters in hoodies before Clutch arrived on the stage. Surely this wasn't going to be their bag? Would you believe it, after Who Wants To Rock (I do - fantastic opener!) and Pure Rock Fury, they were all enjoying it, so maybe there's still hope for us all. With only 35 minutes at their disposal there was no way Clutch were going to wheel out all their greatest looney tunes - that would take a couple of hours - but apart from the two mentioned above we did get Smoke Banshee, A Shogun Named Marcus, Eight Times Over Miss October - including a lengthy guitar jam and drum solo which the kids still seemed to like... which merged seamlessly into Big News I & II, and - unbelievably - Careful With That Mic... with Neil Fallon spouting all his lunatic ramblings word perfect - how does he do it? Finishing with Impetus confirmed that Clutch are the greatest band on the planet - and better still, they'll have a longer set at Milton Keynes on Saturday. I still think they should have played Open Up The Border, but it was a cracking set nonetheless. Two days is too long to wait, and I'll have to have a long playthrough of Pure Rock Fury or I'll probably go mad. Rock on!!!
As has been well documented, I first saw RS supporting Ministry a couple of years back and thought they were shit. Hearing the demos soon convinced me they weren't shit, and I waited for the album. It came, it lost quite a bit of the biting edge that the demos had, but I thought there was no way they'd turn out as crap as, say, Papa Roach, and at least the UK's "great big hope" would be properly METAL. Then came The Gush, a single as nu-metal as they come, and suddenly the promise of the demos had been washed away on a tidal wave of crowd-surfing hoodie-wearing teenagers. And fuck me with a fish fork if it didn't show at this gig. Where as one day, they'd have introduced themselves screaming "WE'RE RAGING FUCKIN' SPEEDHORN, FUCK YOU ALL!!!", now it's politely mumbled as "We're Raging fucking Speedhorn, are you all having a good time?" Well I was when DON and Clutch were on. Noticing the number of hoodie-wearing kids around I thought I'd watch from the bar upstairs - the experience was very much like listening to the RS album on a cheap crap stereo - and it has to be said, if they wanted to be the band of the day, then bringing Clutch and the Dukes with them was not a good idea... Then, suddenly, I was interrupted by Bonzo who ranted at length about the irresponsible behaviour of the kids downstairs who thought the last thing to do when someone fell over was to pick them up, or that it was really cool and hard to shove a clearly distressed girl back into the pit when she was trying to escape. Neither of us saw any point in staying to see the end of the set, and we fucked off for a pint at the Angel instead. Better use of my time if you ask me.