I have my worries for this gig. Really worries after the debacle of Dudley. Hmmm, could be a named of band, Debacle of Dudley (D.O.D) - I want royalties if you use it. But wandering in, the place is reasonably full (it's much smaller and more intimate than Dudley, so although the numbers are not perhaps massively greater, the impression is much much better - there's even a hint of atmosphere here), and Linea77 are doing their thing to a reception down the front. Their thing isn't really my thing, it's kind of nu-metal by numbers, and I really am sick to the back teeth of nu-metal, also getting bored of hardcore and the RagingMonkeyChargers, and I think I've finally arrived at the conclusion that they maul a pop classic with Walk Like An Egyptian.
There's a delay before et9 hit the stage. After setting up, Dave remains onstage looking at his amps and head. And looking. And messing. And looking. Others join him. These things often tend to indicate the onslaught of "technical difficulties". Eventually they take to the stage, and as Star Damage starts, the bass is fairly missing in action but that doesn't matter as down front there's a reaction. People start a pit and responding reacting. Almost like they actually know and enjoy the music. Though Joe won't be able to see, as he's busy experiencing what it must have felt like to play on stage behind Pink Floyd's The Wall, as the out front speakers are bang in front of him, and that's surely all he can see. I Nagual Eye is next, along with Withered it's the sole nods back to the older material, apart from that it's the newer, and it has to be said, classier stuff from arc'tan'gent that dominates. I guess in a strange way I'm kind of more aware and wary of the differences tonight, as it's pretty much the first time Vickie has heard them, and I'm wondering what she'll make of it. And given that context, p.r.d chaos, tat twam asi and binary (greeted with cheers by about 3 people!) are light years ahead. It feels time to dump the likes of Withered, which may be crowd pleasers, but they're a bit "by numbers" now. And the kick drum is far too loud through Tat Twam, almost drowning out all the guitars during the instrumental section. Afterwards Vickie reckons the last 2 tracks (Tat Twam and Binary) were really good, and as a new person to the music, I kind of think that's a good indicator of things and the way forward.
It's got to be said, they're 'kin barking in here tonight. It's been a while since I've seen such a display of suicidal speaker diving. The right hand set, as you look at the stage, provides a constant spring board for back flips, rolls, and plain old diving. But people seem to know what they're doing, and everything is positioned and at heights that the dangers are reduced - there are some places where diving is just stupid, some where it's ok. Here it can be ok. The bass playing man from Dudley is in attendance, and gets a special mention from the band, and it generally just all, as they would say in America, "Goes off." The set's the same, they persevere with A-Z Revolution, Glen goes from the speaker stack himself and Yap mentions the Anti Capitalist march again. Karl joins the band to assist with the vocals on Holy Man. The difference in a couple of days is remarkable. And I have to admit I'm shocked, and very pleasently surprised. Time to stop being so cynical? Ah, not so fast. Experience has taught me to be wary.