Everyone has a dream, be they young imaginations shaping the future, the first 30 seconds of the play button being pressed on a Walkman, images and dreams created by music, but behind the screen of melodies, poetry and rhythm one asks, “why can’t I” that is a question I wished I never asked. My name is Lee Stevens Dowling I am a gig promoter.
18th April 2019
The annoying buzz of an 11am alarm, better things to do but needs and must, magnet recording studios two cabs one long journey, no car, no taxi, no bus too skint, pushing both on foot from the back exit of snention just beyond the steel dragons eyes, to goldsmith Street at Albert’s, general public uncaring to my task, most look at me with a resenting gaze for occupating the sidewalk. Get to Albert’s, load in dying for a cider, my body sweats from the heat of a median sun and my own body begging to my like a widow to any who I will listen to give back what fate so cruelly took in jealously, miss my bed but block out the crys, for ciders sweet taste like rain in a desert, load in done, no foul ups they’re coming.
Food ready I meet them the stage set, friends old and past who’s name I recall barely though those mystic fogs of memories, stood before me Chainsaw Castration their guitarist Jack, we gigged together years ago with his old band Rational Choice, excellent Bad Brains cover. No shades of punk here tho as Jack sought higher pastures and exodus himself to Manchester where Chainsaw got their momentum and began building their temple and refining their craft, but joining them. A rival band of the Manchester death metal scene Sam Bramley from Visions Of Disfigurement. Tho nothing serious, friendly banter at best. Next to arrive the man behind this affair, the man who by tagging me in a post roping me into the night Daniel Phipps from Spawned From Hate, by his words I made this night, but why was it for my own ego, the unspoken urge of a promoter to bestow his city with the best offerings like the scene itself is a god and by offering the most richest of bands my existence be given deeper meaning then birth, work, death.
Phipps greeted me but the shock he presented me, never in 6 years did I have such feelings of the familiar dread. His bassist broke his arm, Dave approached arm in swing, his face painted with both disappointment but a cunning gaze, this man would be a dark horse as I would later see. Finally the headliners show up Extermination Dismemberment arrive four men from Belarus, horrible country, brutal right wing dictatorship, but lovely culture, where else could death metal be so savage and raw but the kindness and respect they showed, truly humble men grateful for the show, as if this gig is a fantasy from the void of crushing political climate and uneasiness paranoia of an Orwell dystopia, my smile returns.
First band shows up, Black Mass Tomb a young man with nothing but a guitar and backing drum tracks, first ever gig, the nervousness visable, “you’ll be fine kid” he sets up, the crowd shows up, names given, tickets showed, entry permitted. It begins Black Mass Tomb begins whilst his nerves still visable it becomes quite clear this man has a goal, riff after riff of brutality and quite intelligent song writing, one of his songs he wrote for a friend for his pro wrestling theme up in Chesterfield, if he was a rookie going in he would be leaving a pro the crowd cheered, a wave of shock and gratitude washed over him as he said “thank you” into the mic like a boy finding his place and becoming a man, “I’ll be in touch” I say to myself.
Spawned from hate set up, no drummer again just drum tracks, but Dave climbs onto the stage my eyes sharply turn whatever plan this man has will be put into action, I wait eagerly for what could be a magnus opus or a Greek tragedy, the set begins blastbeats, mid paced grooves, Phipps, Ewan kicking it like a normal day at the office but Dave the ultimate darkhorse, busted out maracas in between the chaos, madman, as this happen Colpocleisis the final band to arrive showed up, plesentrys where made.
Next up the first to arrive Chainsaw Castration, a blistering set of fast paced blast beats and mid paced chugs even tho the vocalist was not the official vocalist you’d think they’d have been playing together for years, not a single misstep but when chainsaw slowed down with those slamming break downs that’s when things really picked up with the audience more or less turning into crazed MMA fighters but the friendly atmosphere still lingered strongly over the heightened madness
Second to last Colpocleisis from Liverpool these boys are ventrans of the UK death metal scene and Chainsaw Castration’s drummer doing double sets straight after and he didn’t miss a single beat with them playing many tunes from their new Fallopian Fallout album showcasing this bands mastery of brutality be it 100 miles an hour or 10 miles an hour nothing was missed.
And final them Belarus boys Extermination Dismemberment came on, intro Samples from films, check, more of the same but somehow even more extreme then all the other bands combined, check, the crowd 50 plus in attendance going absolutely manic, stage diving, moshing and spin kicks, check, Exdis hit Nottingham with all the force of a sledgehammer every riff more intense, every blastbeat harder, at one point I stood on a table in angulation, whilst no stranger to slam death metal this was my first time seeing and booking it, the crowd both young and old wishing for more even after exdis finished the sheer intensity of the performance not only amplified their musical ability but they pulled no punched no wasted momentum. This style of heavy metal is truly the future of the scene, while the guardians of the old school may gauze with malus, for the change in the genres identity from their rose tint glasses and demo cassette tapes of bands who’s twilight years are behind them, believing themselves to be rockstars amongst mere mortals, however these new bloods of the Slam genre will soon be champion names we will be praising in joy and in admiration not just for their music but for their DIY ethics rooted strongly in punk and the people behind it all viewing their fans as not fans but equals. Whilst the names of old are forgotten and lost to the merciless wraith of time Extermination Dismemberment, Colpocleisis, Chainsaw Castration, Spawned From Hate and Black Mass Tomb will be here for years to come.