Wednesday 20 August 2008

Mindless Self Indulgence / Fucked Up/ The Deathset at ULU

Pink Eyes - Hairy Back

The first thing that I notice about tonight is that the venue is only about half full. The large bar by the side of the stage is shut altogether. I find this boggling – there are three bands here this evening, two of whom would each expect to fill this place on their own and a third who I have already seen this year headline a sold out and rammed Roundhouse. This concert has been put on as part of the Kerrang! Awards 2008. They don’t seem to have told anybody.

I am looking forward to seeing The Deathset, about whom I have formed a generally good impression, heightened after a conversation with their record label owner.

The three piece run onto the stage and seem chipper enough. Two guitarists and a drummer and a great deal of material on backing tape. It soon becomes clear that they are having difficulty synchronising themselves with their previously recorded samples, and this leads to a stop-start set in which the gaps between the songs are in some cases longer than the songs themselves.

It may be the small crowd, or the overall sound tonight, (which is not great for any of the bands) but the Deathset don’t really make much of an impression. A very small group of fans have a bit of a mosh. Over all, the band comes across as likeable, but of no real substance.

Which is not an accusation that could be levelled at Damian Abraham aka Pink Eyes, the enormously obese and pale singer with Fucked Up. He is a big lad, and spends almost the whole gig topless and down amongst the crowd, who shoal around him like fish around a whale.

He is impressive (and relatively kindly to the audience of mostly small females) but it’s the rest of the band that gradually attract my attention. Drummer aside, there are four guitarists in a line across the stage, laying down a driving barrage of noise. With their matching sunglasses they look both mean and cool and almost completely separate from the screaming blubberball churning around below them.

Pink Eyes eventually clambers back on stage, and with a swift drop of his underpants to reveal an arse that you could park a motorbike in, departs. Fucked Up they may be, but they are solid entertainment.

I have previously reported on Mindless Self Indulgence here, so I won’t add much further. What is noticeable tonight is that in this much smaller venue, the band is much funnier and less intimidating than it was at the Roundhouse, and that Jimmy Urine is not so much channelling Marilyn Manson, as paying homage to Alice Cooper.

Jimmy does most of the same schtick as last time, but does hit on the reason for the small attendance – this seems to be an industry bash. He drags various “journalists” on stage for opprobrium.

With Urine reliable as ever, the intimacy of the venue gives an opportunity to admire the contribution of the rest of the band. Bassist Lynn-Z, dressed in full hentai schoolgirl gear, complete with pigtails, is particularly eye catching, bounding from one side of the stage to the other, and never passing up the opportunity to windmill her arms as she strikes a power chord.

Of guitarist, Steve Righ?, it is perhaps best to say that he ‘tries’. But you’ve either got presence or you ain’t, and gurning like Quasimodo’s ugly brother doesn’t really help him. He’s a fine player, and integral to the band, but he should leave the showmanship to others.

The crowd go berserk and there are mad scenes of moshing. As before Urine ends with his twirled cane and a knowing wink.

Another powerhouse performance from Mindless Self Indulgence, and a triumph for Kerrang! for tonight’s entertainment...

...Next time they might invite people.

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