Entombed / Cathedral Derby Vic October 2 2001

I dunno what it is with Cathedral. We've just never really hit it off together. Ok, it feels ok at the time, but when you wake up the next morning and look around, there's nothing there, no feelings. Just an "oh, not again" kind of thing. It's not that their brand of doomy rock is bad, all the components are there, the slow depressed groove, the heaviness and even the occasional glimpse of melody. And a song such as Hopkins : Witchfinder General is big and bold. It's just that the other songs are gone by morning. Memories of what they were about, what they're called, how they went - they're gone. They work for the moment, but then it's gone. For me at least.

I like the Vic. I really do. It's kind of one of those venues. Although it's on the back of the pub, it's low ceiling, bare brick walls, the feel of the place makes it feel like it should be underground. It's the kind of place where you can close your eyes and picture it appearing in shots on album covers in magazines, of all the underground bands from the 70s and 80s. One of those scene places. Where it all started. Where things took over before reaching the safty and sanitised nature of the larger venues. One of those venues that you feel like all bands (well, rock bands at least), ought to play once. It's the kind of venue that, being harsh, you'd just never imagine the likes of Papa Roach or Linkin Park would've played. And if they did, and you're into those bands, it's the kind of place you'd have killed (in a metaphorical not a literal sense) to have seen them.

But it's not the kind of place you feel a band of the longevity of Entombed (or indeed Cathedral) ought to be playing at this stage in their career. They used to play Disco 2 in Rock City (not much bigger, but more sanitised), headlining a tour with Neurosis. Now, there's about 100 people here. It feels wrong. It feels bad. Yet somehow they seem not to care. LG looks out and says "it's the first time we've played Derby, and it looks excellent". He may be honest, but you feel a bit for him. Still, the man does what he always does, barks out the songs, bangs his head incessently for the entire duration of the gig, and gurns and grins in equal amounts. You've kind of got to admire the way they still play those songs, and still retain the energy and apparent enjoyment.

There a fair mixture from most of the albums, with quite a few tracks of the new album including I for an Eye (which I don't have, so excuse the lack of other names). Say It In Slugs, Same Difference, Drowned, Out of Hand and more are offered up. The sound is raw and heavy, part thrash, part garage, part punk. Although they're obviously metal in so many places, you can see why they would appeal to garage punk fans, it's so raw and in your face. The Devil horn count tonight is slightly lower than on previous occassions, but there's still more than enough to keep you going.

As time draws on, the band have an onstage conversation. "We're deciding what to play" grins LG. "Left Hand Path" goes up the obvious cries. Of course they get to it to finish things off, but first there's the matter of To Ride and Damn Deal Done before Left Hand Path finishes off and they depart saying thankyou without the aid of a microphone. It's that kind of place.