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The card is booked and we are set to witness some highly anticipated bouts that include the disturbing Bray Wyatt battling with John Cena, and Daniel Bryan squaring off with Triple H, who looks to end the “YES! Movement” and enter the main event to face Randy Orton and Batista in a triple threat match for the WWE World Heavyweight Championship.
We should expect to see some gruelling, physical, edge-of-your-seat battles this Sunday that will go down in Wrestlemania history, but it hasn’t always been that way.
Here are some of the shortest matches in the history of the “Grandaddy of ‘em all”:
Chavo Guerrero vs Kane: For the first time in its history the ECW Championship was defended at Wrestlemania XXIV back in 2008. It wasn’t, however, the hardcore encounter people might have hoped for and lasted about ten seconds after the challenger Kane snuck up on Chavo whilst he was hurling abuse at the entrance ramp and choke-slammed him for the 1-2-3.
Akebono vs The Big Show: What would Wrestlemania be without some kind of slightly novelty non-wrestling contest? At Wrestlemania XXI in 2005 the world’s largest athlete The Big Show took on sumo champion Akebono. The Big Show looks as though he’s doing quite well, managing to stand his ground and hold off the Hawaiian giant, until he is then suddenly sent hurtling out of the circle and onto the floor outside the ring after one minute.
Yokozuna vs Hulk Hogan: Wrestlemania IX at Caesar’s Palace, Las Vegas and Bret Hart has just lost the top prize to Yokozuna. The Hulkster comes to Hart’s aid and is challenged by Yokozuna’s manager Mr. Fuji to wrestle right there and then for the title. Hogan accepts, dodges Mr. Fuji’s attempt at throwing salt in his eyes, gives a blinded Yokozuna a clothesline, and then follows it up with the big leg drop. A new champion is crowned just a few minutes after the last one.
Butterbean vs Bart Gunn: Does anybody remember the “Brawl For All” tournament? Sorry if you do! It was a terrible idea getting professional wrestlers to have boxing matches live on Raw and many of them sustained injuries as a result. Bart Gunn happened to be a pretty good boxer and won the tournament with ease. A few months later he was pitted against Eric Esch aka Butterbean at Wrestlemania XV and learned the hard way what real boxing is about and got sparked out after thirty seconds.
JBL vs Rey Mysterio: This began with JBL planting Rey Mysterio with a big boot cheap shot before the bell had even been rung. Once Rey had agreed with the ref to start the match he retaliated with an enziguri, a 619, and then a big splash off the top turnbuckle to win the Intercontinental Championship in twenty-one seconds. A shocked JBL appeared to genuinely fight back tears as he announced that he was quitting. The cheer from the crowd suggested they thought he wasn’t being serious, but this really was his last match.
Daniel Bryan vs Sheamus: It’s Wrestlemania XXVIII, live from Miami, Florida and Daniel Bryan is defending his World Heavyweight Championship against “The Celtic Warrior” Sheamus. Defending the gold at the wrestling calendar’s most prestigious event requires a quick good luck kiss from your girlfriend of course, but when Daniel Bryan turned around from his little peck with AJ Lee he was met by Sheamus’ “Brogue Kick” and was flat on his back after just eighteen seconds.
Similar tensions in The Shield’s camp over the last few months have also had everybody expecting Dean Ambrose to put his United States gold on the line against fellow “Hounds Of Justice”, Roman Reigns and Seth Rollins. Ambrose’s attempt to eliminate Reigns at the Royal Rumble, his disappearance during their match against the Wyatt Family at Elimination Chamber, and his sporadic title defences appeared to be leading to the disbanding of the stable which would’ve led to an incredibly explosive triple threat match between three of the WWE’s most talented performers. If it were to happen, a United States title run for powerhouse Roman Reigns would be just what he needs on his inevitable journey to the top of the mountain. However, The Shield appear to be back on the same page now after defying the orders of The Authority and turning on Kane last week.
Whilst a good, solid tag-team or faction can truly dominate in the WWE, often egos, varying talent, mistakes and miscommunications get in the way and they split. Sometimes though, going solo and putting yourself first is the best thing a superstar can do, leading to much bigger and better achievements.
“The Heartbreak Kid” Shawn Michaels isn’t know as “Mr. Wrestlemania”, “The Showstopper” or “The Main Event” for nothing, and his split from Rockers partner Marty Janetty helped elevate him to the top, albeit quite slowly. Over the years Michaels did become involved in various other factions including The Kliq and D-Generation X, but by these points he was already well established as a singles competitor. His split from Janetty was a heel turn that made people realise he was an individual worth keeping an eye on and Michaels went from bad guy to crowd pleaser in the years that followed. Michaels won the Intercontinental Championship for the first time in 1992 from The British Bulldog and eventually became WWF Champion in 1996, defeating Bret Hart in an iron-man match at Wrestlemania XII. He held the top spot four other times during a career that had been plagued with serious injuries before his retirement in 2010. Shawn Michaels is a household name within the WWE and you have to wonder whether we would even remember who he was if he hadn’t initiated the end of The Rockers.
The Nation (formerly the Nation Of Domination) consisted of The Rock, D’lo Brown, Mark Henry and The Godfather at the time of its demise in late 1998. The Rock was fast becoming a fan favourite and his ability was much greater than his comrades. Following the split of The Nation, The Rock went on to win the WWF Championship at Survivor Series in November that year and seven more title reigns followed. Although he did join Vince McMahon’s Corporation stable and had a partnership with Mankind (The Rock ‘n’ Sock Connection), The Rock was still his own man during the rest of his full-time career and the “most electrifying man in sports entertainment” remains one of the best the business has ever seen.
Take one of the greatest wrestler’s of the past, one of the best at the time, and two gifted up-and-coming superstars and you can achieve total dominance in the WWE. This was exactly the case in 2003 when Ric Flair and Triple H recruited Batista and Randy Orton to form the unstoppable Evolution. At one point Evolution collectively held the World Heavyweight Championship (Triple H), the Intercontinental Championship (Randy Orton) and the World Tag-Team Championship (Batista and Flair), but as Orton’s career progressed leading to him winning the World Heavyweight Championship, Triple H became jealous and the group turned on him. We only need to look at the current situation in the WWE to see how the “Legend Killer” has thrived as a lone ranger.
It’s always good to have somebody watch your back when things get tough, but often greed, jealousy, and the feeling of being held back take over. Sometimes your friends turn against you, and sometimes these partnerships just come to a natural end, but a true WWE superstar can make a name for themselves without the assistance of others.
As mentioned before, Cesaro and Roman Reigns may benefit in the long-run if their groups eventually disband, and it would be stupid to ignore how impressive Seth Rollins has been for a while now. Titus O’Neil also looks as though he has the potential to be a big name and each individual member of The Wyatt Family could definitely hold their own if required.
There may be both strength and safety in numbers, but sometimes the only person you want to trust is yourself.
A while back ex-Lightyear frontman Chas Palmer-Williams played a show at JW Lennon’s in Brighton, a pub that my friend Glen runs and lives in with some of my best and oldest friends. I had arranged to do a short interview with him afterwards but what actually happened was that everybody got a bit drunk and Glen, Django, Chas and myself sat in Django’s room and chatted for about an hour, during which time I slipped in some of the interview questions. I could’ve spent hours and hours editing it all down to just my questions and Chas’ responses but we had a laugh and realised that Chas is one of the safest, funniest and most down-to-earth people we’ve met and I wanted to instead print a slightly chopped down version of our conversation. The plan was to put this in Perfect Day #2 but that’s taking a lot longer to complete than expected and since Chas has now reached 100% of his goal for funding on Pledge music, I figured I couldn’t really hold on to this for any longer.
P.S This was a fucking mission to transcribe from a dictaphone with four people talking, and was edited all in one go at about 3am one night so I’m sorry if it’s full of mistakes I haven’t spotted yet!
Chris: Mostly what I wanted to talk to you about was the forthcoming album. What made you decide to do the whole pledge thing?
Well, to be honest, I went to Ireland… my friend Tim from a band called The Gypsy Rebel Rabble said “you’ve got to come over” and these promoters called Alcohol & Irony put me on and flew me out. Basically, I had an amazing time and came back and was sort of in a band and then the band split up, and I was like, right, I’m gonna do an album. I’m just gonna do it. And then the pledge thing, I was a bit like “ahh fucking hell” cos like Rich said tonight for a joke, it’s a bit like cyber-begging. But you do get the album. I didn’t understand it when the Meow Meows did it, but it’s because I didn’t realise that if you don’t pledge then the album simply won’t come out. So really you’re just buying the album but you’re saying “I actually want to see this album from you”
So essentially you’re finding out if people actually want you to do it, rather than putting all the money in up-front without knowing whether anyone is even going to listen to it?
Exactly, cos where the fuck am I going to get the money from? And straight away I was amazed at the support, it’s one of those things where you get an email notification off someone and it says “so and so has pledged” and you see old names from old times and you’re like “fucking dude!”…. “or dudette” I’m so fucking thankful, I’ll send an email back and be all “fucking hell dude, you alright? Where you living now?” You know, people I haven’t seen for ages, and it’s wicked cos you get back in touch with them. And then people you don’t expect like my mum’s friends are pledging and going “oh, here’s some money for your album”. I think they might actually like it as well cos its not like its going to be punk rock and ska, cos a lot of people think it will be, which is really weird. There’s nothing wrong with all that at all, but its just really not what I’m doing right now. So I went and had a meeting in London and they were like “yeah, lets do it” and they were really cool and I think it just cuts out the middle-men really. I suppose they are, in a way, a middle-man but the less middle-men the better.
You’re in control of it a bit more, and if it goes wrong at least you know its your fault and if it doesn’t then at least you know its solely your achievement.
It’s all transparent. You make an agreement with them, they say “we’ll take this much” and there’s no contract to sign, which is mental cos growing up in the punk scene it was all “don’t sign a contract, don’t sign a contract, don’t sign a contract”. I tour manage bands and I learned, actually, “sign a contract”, cos then everyone knows where they are and it’s fine. When Lightyear started out we didn’t know how big it was going to get and we learned you should always do it, cos its harder to stay friends with people if you don’t
What’s your deadline for it? When do you plan to have it out?
It’s out in April, that’s the official release date so far. And I’ve got a press agent, a girl from New Born Press who are doing my press for free and then we will pay them out of the pledge money. She needs about a 3-month campaign cos we want to do it properly.
Its weird, cos in the punk scene, the DIY scene, you’re taught not to trust these people - managers, agents, PR - but you know what, nowadays, if you want to do something and put it out there, these people get involved and actually they work fucking hard for you and are usually really sound people and I trust them. Not everyone, you know, obviously there are shitty people
But you learn to trust the right people
Exactly, and she’s awesome
Do you think that since you’ve been doing the solo stuff that you’ve picked up new fans, or do you reckon it’s mostly old Lightyear fans?
Yeah yeah I have. I definitely hit a point where I was thinking about quitting and thinking “don’t do music”, especially when my ex-girlfriend was heckling me in the crowd and telling me to give up. But definitely yeah, I played a barber’s in Ireland and it was really random cos Tim woke me up and was like “Chas wake up you’re playing a barber’s in 10 minutes” and that was the first time anyone’s ever said that to me. So I went and played this barbers in Dublin
I think I saw a video on You Tube of you playing that actually
Yeah, they do little sessions and record them. It’s fucking cool, it’s a kinda rockabilly guy and his mate. So I played there and his mum was there, she had to be about 70 or 80 or something, his kids were there and were about 16 and then the people from the Thai restaurant came down from next door and brought us Thai food and stuff. It was just ridiculous you know…..I’m in a barbers, in Dublin. Nobody had any idea who I was. None of them knew who Lightyear were but afterwards everyone was like “that was fucking great, man”. And that’s really cool, cos obviously I love Lightyear and it was one of the most important times of my life and I stand by it now, all the lyrics, everything, got it tattooed etc, but to be able to play to someone’s 70 year old mum who comes over and says “that was a really good song, the one about the phone box”. I’m not just playing for punk people now
It’s wicked when people that were into Lightyear enjoy it, but at the same time, when total randoms ask “what’s your name?”, “who are you?, you’ve got good songs”, I like that, it’s cool. I think “y’know…actually maybe I’m not shit”. I think I’m shit quite a lot and then I think I’m ok and then I think I’m shit again
I read that you were saying that this album is potentially the last thing you’ll do as a musician
Oh man, don’t ask me this. Umm…yeah yeah….just because…ummm….I suppose I’m getting older and I’ve met a girl that’s fucking amazing and uhhh…I’ve gone out with some questionable girls in the past, at questionable times. She’s amazing and we’ve started to look at things like in the future. If someone asks “what do you do for a living?” and you say “well I used to be in a band, and now I kinda do this”….I mean, I tour manage bands as well so I do get a little bit of money doing that, which is fine, but it’s not really something I can do and raise kids, you know what I mean?
I’m 35 and the dreams there and I’m like “right, fuck it, I’m gonna do this” but realistically, is it going to happen? I know that’s lame cos you’ve gotta believe in it and everything, but with Lightyear it wasn’t planned. I always remember with Capdown, and I fucking respect Capdown, they’re incredible, but I remember Jake saying something along the lines of “so, our career is going in this direction….” and I remember thinking “career? You’re classing this as a career?”, and obviously for them they did it and it was a career, which is fine
That’s probably why they’ve done so many reunions.
Glen: They’ve done about 10 reunions
But yeah, I was doing a poo in his mouth at the time
Django: There’s nothing wrong with that either
Yeah, it’s just the other end of the spectrum
Capdown are probably my favourite band ever
Oh they’re fucking brilliant. I remember the first time seeing them and it was in a tiny pub in Peterborough and someone said “you’ve gotta check this band out”, and fucking hell, they were so good
I’ve seen Capdown so many times, and when we got a bit older we used to spot some of them at free parties in and around Milton Keynes
That’s what was really cool about Capdown, that they actually did what they were talking about. So many fucking bands pretend
They just always seemed to be into loads of different stuff and actually put all that together successfully without it being shit
Yeah yeah, and they would always say that the drum ‘n’ bass scene is way more punk than the punk scene, stuff like that, and that you could learn from that scene, and they were right in some senses. Definitely
You’ve said as well that the album will feature some special guests, are they all a secret for now?
I’ve got Pete who used to play sax for Jesse James, you know Jesse James?
Well he’s now playing for The Pogues actually, and he said “I’m gonna produce your album”, so yeah, he’s going to be producing it.
Pete’s fucking awesome, man. He’s such a cool guy. He’s one of those people that you meet and you’re just like “I need to do music with you or something”. He’s just so inspiring and energetic. The thing is that he really is an incredible musician. I think I’m shite, I am shite, I’m a terrible musician. He is really really fucking good and he’s cool and he’s really punk as well. He’s producing the album and I’m dead happy about that.
I’m trying to get a few people….. I love Dan from Five Knuckle and want to get him on to sing. Five Knuckle are one of those bands, whenever I go to see them in Bristol and hang out, or they come down and watch me play or whatever, within about five minutes its exactly the same as it was all those years ago, ten years ago or something. You’re like “oh, its the same, we’re having the same laugh”, you know? Dan went to India and was a dancer in a Bhangra film, ginger guy, used to be the singer in Five Knuckle in a fucking Bhangra film..not Bhangra, fucking…
Yeah that’s it, Bollywood
Django: Hahaha is he really white as well?
Yeah haha, very white. The most non-Bollywood kind of guy. Get him. Put him in it.
..but yeah, just so I get to hang out with some of the old faces. And that might be a bit like hanging onto the past a little bit but then at the same time I’m getting some newer, wicked people to come in as well.
I definitely think, they don’t know it yet, but, hopefully, the Adequate Seven brass section will be on it, a couple of songs maybe. A few of them play for Paolo Nutini now actually
You’ve played in the past with The Bon Bon Bons, has that finished now that you’re doing the solo album?
Yeah that’s finished, we split up when I got back from Ireland. It was all of our 2nd project really
Wasn’t it mostly your songs with extra musicians?
No, I co-wrote a couple of them, we did co-write some songs but my lyrics and ummm..whatever, its not too important. But it was hard to get everyone to do it cos everyone had other bands
It was quite an interesting band though
Those guys are great musicians and they are going to be playing on the album as well so I’m looking forward to that. The accordion player, he’s from Ireland, I remember we played a show and basically no one was there..people had turned up but the support band couldn’t play so he just started playing Irish folk music, really fucking good, and he was like “this is just what we do”
Just get it out and play
Yeah, and then he just went and sat on the door and took the money, he’s such a dude. He has a PhD in uhhhh…not quantum physics, maybe like uh……molecular physics or something…he’s such a dude. But yeah, he’s gonna be on the album, they’re all gonna be on the album. I was doing my stuff though, it was everyones 2nd or even 3rd band. Nowadays when everyone’s older and with jobs and stuff, you’re spending all your time trying to organise it, trying to write my own songs as well as writing Bon Bons songs just wasn’t working
I only saw you play with them once, it was the River Jumpers show at Sticky Mike’s
That was the worst show I’ve ever played in my life
I really enjoyed it, I thought you were great
It didn’t seem great when we were doing it, but I guess if one person liked it, that’s still really cool. But we had bad sound and we were totally out of time. With Lightyear, [rolls eyes] with Lightyear, with Lightyear, I was just singing so I could blag it, but now with singing, playing guitar and having to listen to everyone else….it was just a mess. The sound was bad and, it sounds a bit diva-ish but it was like, just turn it all off and we’ll get in the crowd and do it
So what would you say were the best and the worst solo shows you’ve ever played?
Potentially tonight was one of the best
Yeah, swear on my life
Glen: We had fun, everyone’s spoken to me about it and said they had a lot of fun.
Put it this way, I cant think of one off the top of my head right now that I enjoyed more than tonight. I potentially will do tomorrow, “last night was shit”. Definitely tonight though….yeah, I can’t even think of another one.
Worst show….fucking hell…umm….I’d say the Bon Bons one but that was with the band..uhhhh…ah ok, so yeah we played…ah no, wait, that was with the band….can I say one with the band?
If you want
We played the Black Lion in Brighton
Glen: Ooooooh, the Black Lion. I got up on the mic once when the band playing were on an interval. I was working for The Mash Tun at the time and I was like “it’s fucking shit in here, everyone get down the Mash Tun”. I was trashed
Django: You nearly got fired for that didn’t you?
Glen: It’s the same company that own both the pubs
Ah right, so they got in touch or something?
Glen: Yeah, they don’t like me in there
There’s no soul in there, they said you know “you need to play this” and I was playing and the sound was terrible and nobody’s listening and I was actually left to run the show, run the night as well, and I was like “fuck this, I’m going”. So half-way through I just left, I said to the band “come on, fuck it, let’s go”. I felt like my soul….you know on Harry Potter?
I haven’t actually seen it
The Dementors, there these ones that suck your soul out. It felt like my soul was being sucked out, it was that bad. And then there was one in Derby actually, it was an open mic night and the guy before me played Grange Hill, and he had all his mates in the crowd and everyone’s fucking loving it, and then I go up and everyone just looked at me like a piece of shit
Django: Beacause they didn’t know you?
Yeah, I should’ve done Byker Grove… again, soul getting sucked out, I felt it
There was a review I read of one of your live shows recently, the writer describes your music as “sporty”, whatever the fuck that’s supposed to mean. Do you like sport?
I don’t like football really. I like skateboarding
Do you still skate?
Yeah, but I box as well and I hurt my back boxing about a month ago so I cant skate or box at the moment, which sucks. But other than that, I don’t like sport. I got a scholarship to go to a private school and play rugby, but I was living in a council estate at the time. At the private school I was seen as a scumbag, but then in the housing estate I was seen as a snob. I used to enjoy rugby but then I remember being on the bus one day listening to Nirvana with my headphones on and all them lot were all chanting “kill the fuckers, kill the fuckers!”. It was one those moments when I realised that I’ve got nothing in common with all them
Django: Did you say “kill the fuckers”?
Yeah that’s it… “kill the fuckers, kill the fuckers”. It’s not even good is it?
Glen: It’s to the point though
It’s direct. The number 8, this guy Darren, a complete meathead…I was watching TV the other night and it was one of those late night cop-chase things and it did that thing where its like “duh nuh nuh Dave” and it freezes on a cop named Dave, “duh nuh nuh Steve” and there’s Steve, “duh nuh nuh Darren” and it was fucking him! He’s such a cock, completely stupid. It wasn’t even Cops, it was like Elite Cops. “Kill the fuckers”
You’ve been in Brighton for a good few years now, right?
Five years yeah
The Brighton music scene….
It’s good man. I think it’s really good. The Meow Meows are good. Summerslam 88, fucking Luke’s band, they’re wicked.
There’s some great musicians and its a great place to live. It’s about supporting, you know, watching the first band, watching the second band. You fucking learn something from everyone that ever plays, so if you watch anybody, and you’re worth your soul, you watch them and either learn to do something or not to do something by watching them. Chris that was on first tonight, I was listening to him and I picked up a little thing from him, you know what I mean? About his rhythm, and I thought, “I’ll remember that” and I enjoyed it. I mean, what is it really just to spend half an hour to watch someone? Maybe that’s just me, but that’s what I do. Maybe if it was like 8 fucking bands that were like, I dunno, HORSE the band. Do you know HORSE the band?
Yeah, I’ve seen them before, I love them
Yeah, they’re fucking great but I don’t want to see 8 of them. I’m too old, I don’t even really listen to loud bands anymore.
Right, so on Upper Rock Gardens when I lived there, this is when I first moved to Brighton, the first night I heard the door at the bottom of the flats open and close, slamming, and then there was “AHHHH” BANG BANG BANG “AHHHHH” BANG BANG BANG BANG and I was laughing, thinking “fucking hell, who the fuck is that?” - it carried on, the whole time – but it turns out that I lived below a load of Slovakian rent-boys, and above a massive, horrible paedo who was dead into underage ladyboys, so I would hear the guys shagging, fucking each other, fucking everybody, anything that moved. And then when they finished I would be like “oh thank god they’ve finished” and then I’d hear “HELLLOOOOOO” and the other guy is on Skype or something to all these ladyboys, whacking off. And that’s where the lyric “some of these walls are supermodel thin” comes from, cos I was living there, and they were complete arseholes…I think there was a point to that, I don’t remember what it was though
Django: About HORSE The Band?
Yes, so I used to gaffer tape my speaker to the ceiling and play HORSE The Band on repeat to shut them up
This review was originally printed in Perfect Day #1:
I’d never been inside Brighton Electric Studios until tonight, don’t see why I would have done considering I don’t play in a band that rehearse there. I don’t play in a band at all. Bring your own booze and £3 to see Delta Sleep was plenty of reason to Google Maps it and pop down though. It wasn’t of much interest to me as to who else was playing, I just wanted to hear Delta Sleep play “16:40am” really loud, but instead tonight I was introduced to three more bands I’ll definitely remember and really want to see again.
Patchwork Natives are an instrumental three-piece whose guitarist and bassist play their instruments in a way that makes it look like they are playing miniature keyboards, the kind of biddly-biddly-biddly math-rock that makes you wonder how the fuck you are meant to get back into the rhythm if you accidentally miss even one note. They are almost jazzy in parts and the fact that they allow a crowd member to name their new song “Ultimate Frisbee Is For Lovers” is enough for me to ignore the hippie trousers at least one of them is wearing, the kind you see people that like psy-trance wearing.
Polymath are another instrumental local band that were really really impressive. To me they sounded a lot like The Dillinger Escape Plan but without the vocal or the chugging rhythm guitar. A non-metal Dillinger Escape Plan. They are incredibly tight when they play and the bassist has a pretty impressive handlebar moustache, generally, I think moustaches look ridiculous but this guy knows how to rock it, and it’s not often I say that. Check out their free new single “Tetragon” on bandcamp cos it’s a complete rocker.
Delta Sleep are without their bassist tonight but they still sounded amazing in this intimate room. Guitarist Glen has a great voice but I’m pretty blown away by how good other guitarist Devin sounds when he backs up with the screaming. This guy should be fronting a hardcore band, or maybe just a one-man project where he just screams constantly. They played everything (if my drunk brain recalls correctly) off of the “Management EP” and there’s a pretty well placed Ashley Schaeffer sample in “16:40am”. If this band are ever playing near you, you have to go and see them. They are even better with a complete band.
Before tonight I knew nothing about Shrine. Two words: Fucking Quality. Their vocalist is just the right amount of “odd” and their quirky, mathy, often melodic and sometimes sludgy metal instantly reminds me of Mastodon and Botch. The main thing that had me so mesmerised when they played was the feeling of nostalgia they brought on. It may not be the same for others but for me they gave me a youthful memory of seeing bands like SikTh, Reuben and Funeral For A Friend when I was 14 or 15, in fact Deftones and American Head Charge even popped into my head during their set. They didn’t necessarily even sound like any of those bands but something about them that I can’t put my finger on took me back to that era. I’ve since gone and checked out their recordings and whilst I enjoyed them, this is a band you really need to see play to get the full package.
This review was originally printed in Perfect Day #1:
I arrived at this later than expected and unfortunately missed Employed To Served and was met with Claw Marks just arriving on stage. Claw Marks are somewhat of a supergroup consisting of ex-members of Throats and No Coast alongside current members of Human Hair and Boneyards, and have been causing a bit of a trouser-stir annihilating the few venues they’ve so far played with their peculiar post-punk barrage.
Their frontman vocally reminds me of Nick Cave during The Birthday Party days and his odd stage presence is akin to Ian Curtis. Heavily bearded, he gyrates his hips and gets lost in the music with no shoes on in a way that almost makes you feel slightly uncomfortable.
They remind me of Pissed Jeans and the lyric “the silent cop likes his meat rare” was still making me chuckle hours later, although admittedly I did think he was saying “the silent cum” at the time.
They finish their set their set with as much feedback and noise as you’d expect from a band so odd, the vocalist on his hands and knees, face pressed against the monitor repeatedly saying “Thank you”. Expect to hear a lot about this band in the near future.
War Wolf are the most impressive band of the night in my opinion, fusing slow, stoner riffs with really fast thrashy bits, a bit like Trash Talk with less hardcore. This three-piece Brighton monster features ex-members of Dopefight and the big guy from Sea Bastard and at the time of this show they are set to release their first full-length, “Crushing The Ways Of The Old”. War Wolf are very political in their message with an emphasis on destroying ignorance, racism and homophobia. “Cave Dwellers” is a standout track for me and their album is blatantly going to be a killer.
Next up are 1981, a Finnish female-fronted punk band who were on their first trip to the UK and as far as I know had already played a gig earlier in the night at The Cowley Club with DasKinsey4. Their sound is very stop-start (I wish I could think of a better way to phrase that) and they remind me of early AFI, well, not even necessarily early AFI, just all the AFI stuff that isn’t a load of shite. 1981 are definitely the odd ones out on tonight’s line-up but they still go down really well in a room full of metalheads.
Exhaustion are our headliners tonight and to be honest I wasn’t as impressed by them as I expected to be.
Whilst things that sound slightly like Pig Destroyer and “Jane Doe”-era Converge are usually right up my staircase, I think the sound for their set and their vocalist let them down a bit. They had a really intense performance and I’m sure I could see them another time and be eating my words saying how brilliant they are, but tonight I wasn’t feeling it, not like I was for War Wolf or Claw Marks. They had the same guitarist as Claw Marks (ex-Throats guy, I believe) and when he put down his guitar at the end of the set and joined in with the screaming he sounded a million times better than their frontman did. Exhaustion are a great band, don’t get me wrong, maybe I was just pissed off at the realisation that starting my shit new job the next day was getting closer and closer.