The Melvins

Nottingham Rock City

March 31 2001

I've got a confession to make. It was me that shot Phil. Naah, just toying with you, though of course Americans will wonder what the hell I'm on about. Just put it down to bad old British humour. Anyway, confession time. I don't own a single Melvins album. They're one of those bands that have been on the "to buy" list numerous occassions, a list that's only surpassed in sheer size by the works "todo" list. Talking of which, anyone got an opening for a well paid sys admin? Anyway, nope, not bought any, so don't expect anything insightful.

Shortly after 8.30, while tapes are still playing, there's a sudden thud on the drums, and they're up and running with a bit of a mini-drum solo like thing, before slow torturous guitar joins in and the Melvins take to the stage in what look like matching floral dresses. From where I'm standing, I can't quite see if they are indeed dresses. This continues for about 5 minutes before the band give way into the first of the evenings drone like sludgy workouts. The bassist sways around, giving an impression similar to Dave Edwardson from Neurosis, all caught up. The whole set seems underpinned by the drumming, which truly is superb, intricate, slow, fast, always changing, military beat. Despite their relatively frequent excursions into more abstract noise, this is a lot more accessible than I imagined it would be, there's even melody and some catchy moments going on in there. And although I've got the old earlplugs in again, it sounds crystal clear in a sludgy crystal clear kind of way. Powerful, and you can hear all the musicians. About half way through there appears to be a technical difficulty, possibly one of the heads blown, and about 3 people are scrambling round furiously to fix it. The solution for the rest of the band is to just jam out an almost indstrial piece, never loosing a beat. What for most bands would be an interminable bore with the frontman saying everything to in fact say nothing, is actually turned to their advantage. Eventually the item is repaired or replaced, and the band continue, never loosing a beat. After nearly two hours the bassist leaves the stage. "Hey Kevin, come back here. We're not done yet. Our bassist has gone to the toilet. Let's hear it for Kevin. Do you remember the Cows, he was the bassist with them. It's so good to be back here. Have we ever played here before? Ok, well it's so good to finally play here. It only took 17 years. This is the last night of our tour, we're going to do one more song, though it'll take Kevin 17 years to come back. We're from Los Angeles and we've grown to love Mexican American music, so this will be fun for us and we hope it is for you" They play The Kill (I think) 3 times, before, after nearly 2 hours, leaving with the parting words of "see you in another 17 years time."