My nigh-overwhelming feelings of excitement & glee turned to one of horror when I was met on arrival at the venue with news that Panic Cell would not be playing. It was with a heavy heart that I put my Luke Bell Collectible Pint GlassTM & Luke Bell Collectible CodpieceTM back in my Luke Bell Collectible Collectible CaseTM & lodged them safely in the cloak-room. Their time will come, Luke. I just know it. [Update : Panic Cell are splitting this weekend so their time won't come. Why, Luke, Why!?]
In many ways, Clutch are a perfect distillation of rock today. Straightforward, bass-heavy rock & roll that’s perfect for fucking to (or would be if my advances weren’t rejected by every single member of the opposite sex). It’s just a shame they’ve been adopted by a crowd of checked shirts, trucker caps, fake glasses & self congratulating cuntery. I wouldn’t be surprised if it turned out most of them had bought their beards in Urban Fucking Outfitters. Never before have I wished more for a non-tragic, giant disco ball meet mosh pit accident in my life. Then again, maybe I’m just bitter.
Their back-to-basics approach is so at odds with GWAR’s that it’s hard not to question whether this line-up was put together just to get more heads through the door. Expect to see more of this as the audiences dry up & we struggle to fill the massive venues previous generations foolishly built. The 2012 Slayer & Placebo co-headline tour is already in the works.
Before anyone gets too excited Clutch did what Clutch do best & played some Clutch songs. Highlights, just for a change were 50,000 Unstoppable Watts, Elephant Riders & Neil Fallon’s almost too perfect facial hair. On the plus side, I’m almost certain I saw Tina Turner in the pit. A perfunctory set overshadowed massively by what was to follow.
Judging GWAR on musical merit would make about as much sense as evaluating Jeff Becerra’s worth as a performer using his break dancing skills as a metric. That said, they have shown a dramatic improval technically on album so it’s a shame that it’s the muddy, indistinguishable mess they are notorious for that dribbles it’s way through the PA. Recent tracks & classics are pumped out in an indistinguishable noise soufflé but let’s not let that dampen our spirits. In fact, as you might have guessed, a good dampening was the reason most fans had left the house today. Opening to God Save The Queen, our beloved monarch took the stage & was promptly debreasted. As far as entrances go, it’s up there with the Wehrmacht’s trip to Poland in 1939. Although probably with a bit more blood.
A bizarre set-list combined hits with mid-album filler tracks no one has ever requested in the history of the universe. I can only assume it was compiled using a re-purposed National Lottery machine. Get Dale Winton to present it & I’d watch the shit out of it. Anyway, it’s GWAR; an exercise in spectacle. Dead animals are molested, monsters impaled & Lady Gaga gets used as a toilet. A hurried encore of the ever-infectious Sick of You & the poncho-clad security are finally given the respite they’ve been waiting for. It’s not perfect, it’s probably not even good but none of it matters because there is only one GWAR & the world is going to be a drier, safer, more boring place when they finally hang up their prosthetic phalluses.