Well, it’s now around 3 years since part 1 & people are probably thinking (correctly) that we are a bunch of lazy, amateur hacks with the organisational skills of an inebriated gibbon but here we go with the thrilling conclusion of our two part serial.
Sabbat‘s massively successful UK tour served to remind everyone that they fucking slay & it’s nice to see an appropriate turnout for them. Martin Walkyier forgoes his usual, mildly camp theatrics as they kick things off with A Cautionary Tale. Guitarist Simon Jones is in his usual attire, just one hood short of a gimp suit but Sabbat‘s somewhat questionable dress sense doth belie their collective abilities. One of the more creative bands of the eighties thrash scene, classics Do Dark Horses Dream Of Nightmares & closer, For Those Who Died are every bit as magical now as they were in 89 (probably, fuck knows, I was 4). It is the inclusion of their masterpiece Blood For The Blood God which distinguishes them as one of the bands of the festival for me. You can read this if you want to hear me gushing about it more if you really want.
Earthtone9 had the cheek to split up within months of me discovering their massively erotic brilliance & it’s something I never truly forgave them for. Anyway, 9 years on & they’re back to, in their own words, “play a handful of gigs to remind everyone just how good they were”. Well, they can safely consider that job done, gleefully clubbing Leeds about the face with a solid selection from one of the UK’s most interesting back catalogues. In fact, despite the omission of indisputable classic Amnesia, they left me with all the giddy, post-pubescent joy that I felt back in 02. Tat Twam Asi is as mental & beautiful as ever whilst I Nagual Eye still kicks in the teeth of everyone in the front 3 rows. Their upcoming UK tour is going to be something very special. Oh & there’s a new song. If this doesn’t mean a new album, I’m going to post Karl Middleton a used prophylactic every day for the next decade.
Paradise Lost have found themselves in an unenviable position. If HIM were a gateway drug to the church of gothic doom metal, that £10 worth of grass you got off your brother’s dodgy mate & My Dying Bride were a kilo of fine Columbia coke, Paradise Lost would be half a gram of ketamine. Their back catalogue is, for me at least, as hit & miss as chili-induced bowel movement on the East Coast mainline but thankfully live, it’s a different story. Playing a healthy chunk off Shades Of God did a good job of maintaining my Earthtone9 induced chub-on. They tempered this with some more recent material which had a negative effect on the blood flow to my member but at least it prevented me from tomdaring* my jeans. Highlights of a varied set included The Enemy & As I Die before closing on the Eurovision-friendly classic Say Just Words.
Dillinger Escape Plan
First, an admission: On record, Dillinger Escape Plan have only ever left me limp & mildly confused, a bit like that night I took Angela Gossow home, so the prospect of a headlining set from them didn’t exactly fill me with joy. The ensuing set, however, forced me to eat my words in a manner not unlike Ian Watkins when presented with a fully erect phallus. Anyway, they played some songs which were pretty good but hats off to the fuckers, I’ve never seen any band going that mental without sounding like a special kids bus going down a cliff side. Apparently one of their songs is called Gold Teeth On A Bum, and I’m choosing to use the British meaning of the word bum so they get an extra Grimmett just for that. They finished with the one song I actually know, 43% Burnt, I added them to my Best Live Bands On The Planet list & then we went to get very, very drunk. True story.
Now, I know what I’ve done here is give absolutely everyone good reviews & I hate it just as much as you do. It’s a testament to the Damnation team’s skills & taste that they can book such a diverse line-up without picking a few bands that make me want to rip my balls off just so that I have something to plug my ears with. It’s definitely the most fun you can have in England in November without giving one of Motörhead‘s roadies a sloppy hand-job.
* tomdaring is a journalistic term referring to the act of prematurely spaffing one’s trousers whilst attending a live music event
Part One is here if you are half way there & need something to help you finish on.