Dillinger Escape Plan / Botch / Ananda

Nottingham Old Angel

November 2 2000

There's been a few beautiful musical moments recently. Fantomas, Bungle and earthtone9 at Rock City, Medulla here last night. What makes them beautiful? Well, despite my aversion to people, it's the fact that there have been either extremely healthy or indeed sellout crowds at each of them. And this was another beautful night, sold out as it effectively was, weeks in advance. During Dilinger's set, they announce they've spoken to some people who drove 6 hours from Scotland just to see this gig. Which is testament to their reputation, but it's also justification that some people actually take what may be a calculated gamble in putting on a gig like this, the only one the band are playing outside of London. Some people complain that bands only play London, but there again, the promoters and the venues have got to have the integrity and interest in the music to realise a gig like this may be worthwhile, and also the confidence that if they put their money where their mouth is so to speak, that they're going to get a good turnout.

Ananda are first, hailing from France, they initially don't really move me, but as the set progresses, although I wouldn't say I really warmed to them, their noise did begin to make more sense. But overall, the sort of thing that on first viewing, I couldn't really say too much about.

It's first viewing as well for Botch, but judging by the reception they get as they walk on, they're not as unknown a quantity for others as they are for me. With a stuffed cat sat on the speakers (no, I'm not kidding, it was a cat, and it's stuffed), they request the house lights get turned off, before exploding into their set. Exploding is the right word, because the final track (which was the highlight) ends things sounding like a bomb has gone off. And I don't mean that in a cliched sense, I mean it sounded like a bomb had gone off. I overhear someone else saying it felt like an earthquake. Whichever way you view it, it was explosive. They use back lighting (well that's what I'll call it, it's lighting from behind the band which is their back, but my front, so maybe it's front lighting. I don't know and I don't really care before someone with a case of the anal retention decides to put me right) effectively, casting shadows and adding to the mystery. "There's some drunk people in here right? Give us some drunken heckles" they request to be greeted with a "fuck off", which lets face it, isn't a drunken heckle, just a good old everyday one. Though not very inventive. There are some disappointed faces when afterwards people discover they've sold out of shirts at the merchanding stall.

And finally to Dillinger. What can you say really? It's a brutal brutal sound that not everyone will like, with time changes that act like the g-forces in a racing car, hurtling your body in different directions to those it wants to go in. The guitarist on the right as I look at the stage is flinging his guitar everywhere. It's like it's a snake and he's in a film trying desperately to stop it from biting his neck. Wrestling with the guitar, it's behind his neck, swinging in all different angles, taken off, and with him as he launches into the crowd. Besides me is a guy who is living every moment, every time change. His hands are clasped together like he's praying, and his God has answered by sending Dillinger down for him. "What was that? Denim and Leather? I knew there was a reason I liked England" says the vocalist as all manner of metal names are thrown out by the crowd. Like Botch, the band use lighting located behind them, just one giant light shine out like a sunrise. It gives the effect of watching silhouettes on stage, with the frontman seemingly towering over the over shadowy figures. The music lurches from crunching driving hardcore, to almost jazz like breaks and dischords. The 45 minutes pass in a bit of a blur before the band leave. Cries of Skid Row ring out. And then My Michelle by Guns'n'Roses is giving an airing. Never really was a Guns fan myself, but even I can't stifle the grin that's breaking out on my face. Like I said, there's been some beautiful moments.