The Asylum, Birmingham - 31st January 2009
In these days of Capitalist carnage, what chance does a six-month old, small music venue in the middle of Birmingham have to survive?
Not much, you may think, but if they keep hosting shows like tonight’s, then the outlook is good. Nekkrosis won over the crowd after a shaky start with their enthusiasm and refusal to take themselves too seriously, together with their ‘Rushden extreme metal’. Bassist Nol was so into it he seemed to be losing control of his face most of the time, which was something to see.
“Does anyone ‘ere know who the fook we are?” Er, hi Theoktony. That’ll be a ‘no’, I’m afraid. Would you like to play some music? Ouch. Thanks, guys.
Napalm Death, of course, fried any cobwebs immediately. Tonight’s show was unique; the band’s only UK date this year (as far as I know, anyway) and the only time the new, brain-popping album Time Waits For No Slave was performed in its entirety. “We’ll probably make a few fuck-ups, but that’s life.” The band possibly made a couple (losing the order of the songs on the album, not telling drummer Danny which song to start) but took the rest of the evening firmly by neck. Every song powered out of the pristine P.A. - no nasty head-fuzz and ear-buzz at this venue - each note, grind and roar flying around the room to perfection. Life and Limb, On The Brink Of Extinction and Work To Rule stood out from the new album and of the few oldies that crept in, it probably wouldn’t be a Napalm Death gig without Suffer the Children.
Kudos to the Asylum’s security for allowing the stage-diving, too. It was a Napalm Death gig, after all. In these days of overweening ‘Health and Safety’ ejaculations, it was refreshing to see the lads and lasses of the pit happily bounding around without too much uptight interference. There is more to a great venue than naughty-nurse bar staff and spotless toilets. Are such enjoyments soon to disappear forever, in this world where the arse seems to rule the face? Time will not wait to let us know.