Saturday, 13 October 2012

Napalm Death - Colchester Arts Centre - 6th October 2012

Napalm Death have been one of the most consistent names in extreme music for a long time since their humble beginnings in Birmingham in the early 80's. While their line-up may not have been so stable the first few years of their existence, since 1991 the band has kept the same line-up very successfully (excluding the late Jesse Pintado (R.I.P.) who sadly passed away in 2006), and has managed to churn out album after album of grindcore mixed with savage death metal.

After seeing their sets at Bloodstock 2011 and this year at Hellfest I knew I had to see them live at their own show. So when I heard they were playing a show in nearby Colchester at the arts centre, a former church which is possibly one of my favourite small venues I bought a ticket without hesitation.

So myself and a few friends made the 45 minute trip to Colchester, and after once again getting confused by the quite frankly, fucking stupid one way system around the town centre, we arrived to the venue and the evening of carnage began.

Opening act Obscene Entity (7) are a familiar sight, being that they're based in my hometown and are comprised of people I know. Their mix of thrashy death metal seems to go down well, but the drums drown out a lot of the guitar and bass work, meaning most of the songs get lost in the mix. Still, an enjoyable sight for a support band.

During the change over between bands we witnessed something outside the venue, which I must say was truly hilarious. Some of the local Essex "chavs" were walking past the church and upon hearing the unmistakable blast of grindcore (what I believe was something from Nasum's Helvete) one of them exclaimed "Bruv, there's drum and bass in the church!!!". After rushing inside and realising that there was in fact no drum and bass inside, the group walked out with mixtures of terror and disgust on their faces muttering "that's not right man, they can't do that inside a church". I genuinely could not have anticipated something like that. Fantastic.

Barney on top form as usual
Minutes later, the gods of grind themselves, Napalm Death (10) take to the stage. And the result is just spectacular. This is a band that has always been revered and admired for the energy put into their live show. And it becomes immediately apparent why. The amount of power and ferocity is amazing. Vocalist Barney Greenway (affectionately known by my friends and I as Uncle Barney) is on fine form as usual, and spews hate and vitriolic fury with his trademark inimitable bark. Barney is well known for his signature stage presence, which can only be described accurately as the crap dancing of someone's drunk uncle at a wedding (anyone who does not understand what I mean by this, watch a live video of them on youtube).

We are treated to set comprising songs from nearly every album in the band's extensive back catalogue, the majority coming from the new album and their classic 1987 debut "Scum", widely heralded as the first grindcore album. Other rare gems also make an appearance, such as "Dementia Access" from 1992's "Utopia Banished", or a personal favourite of mine, "Can't Play, Won't Pay" from "Enemies Of The Music Business".

Sorry for the shitty pics but I'm poor so I don't own a decent camera haha
"You Suffer", famous for being in the Guinness Book Of World Records, as the shortest song ever recorded (lasting 1.316 seconds), gets the most applause of course, but the band's 22 song, 80 minute set is packed with old favourites and new future classics, the final 10 minutes however manage to coax more energy from the fans than I have seen at a gig for a long time. Consisting of "Suffer The Children", "Nazi Punks Fuck Off" (their famous cover of the Dead Kennedys classic), "Scum", "You Suffer", "Human Garbage", "The Kill" and "Instinct Of Survival" manages to whip the crowd into a frenzy.

This was a very enjoyable night for me, as this is a band that has never compromised their values and has always soldiered on regardless of any difficulties that come their way. Napalm are still famed for their live performances and show no sign of stopping after 31 years in existence.

Napalm Death Setlist:
  1. Circumspect
  2. Errors In The Signals
  3. Everyday Pox
  4. Can't Play, Won't Pay
  5. Protection Racket
  6. Dementia Access
  7. The Wolf I Feed
  8. The Fatalist
  9. Practice What You Preach
  10. Quarantined
  11. Next Of Kin To Chaos
  12. Analysis Paralysis
  13. Dead
  14. Deceiver
  15. When All Is Said And Done
  16. Unchallenged Hate
  17. Suffer The Children
  18. Nazi Punks Fuck Off
  19. Scum
  20. You Suffer
  21. Human Garbage
  22. Instinct Of Survival
 Utilitarian is out now on Century Media Records

Sick T-Shirt I got from the gig

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