Review by Hetty Pics by Sean Larkin
Like moths to a flame, Nottingham’s goths and industrial music aficionados gather for a four band, electrotastic (early) evening of pounding beats and heavy synth grooves.
Method Cell have the unenviable task of opening tonight’s proceedings, never an easy undertaking with indifferent punters still trickling into a venue, but the Nottingham duo attract a respectable gathering at the front.
Stick thin and with an air of androgyny akin to Brett Anderson and David Bowie, singer Apollos keeps things moving along apace on a stage painfully short of space, such is the amount of equipment needed for four bands.
Like a darker, more brooding Soft Cell, MC manage to show in their 20 minute set that it is possible to make bleak music to dance to.
Unlike Surgyn, a Scottish duo dressed in surgical aprons and masks and with more equipment than Currys.
Musically, think Killing Joke circa 1994, Pandemonium remixes a-go-go. No bad thing at all. Then frontman opens his mouth and things go south very quickly. No amount of image gimmickry, jumping around, making a hell of a racket will disguise the fact that Surgyn , ultimately, lack any songs. I know industrial and electro is by its’ very essence repetitive but the beauty of those that do it well is that they are able to create light and shade. Not just grey. Thankfully, because of tonight’s 10 o’clock curfew 25 minutes is all we have to endure.
Credit must go to all the members of the respective roadcrews and in house shifters in making the band changeovers seamless and extremely quick. Like a well oiled machine they ensured that Jayce Lewis took to the stage for their 35 minute set bang on time.
The Welsh five piece hit the stage in a frenzy of smoke, strobes and twin video screens and for the entirety of their set didn’t let up one bit. They actually put me in mind of an early Fear Factory; all intensity and pinpoint precision. When frontman Jayce picks up a set of drumsticks and starts pounding on the second kit the whole spectacle is one of an industrial tribal gathering. Like Adam & The Ants and The Glitter Band (sans kiddy fiddler) the effect of the two drummers is totally dancetastic. I defy anyone to see this lot and not get their booty shaking.
As the stage is swathed in a sea of fog and red light, Combichrist emerge from the mist to the refrains of With Or Without You. Well, two fifths of them do anyway. Singer and benevolent dictator Andy LaPlegua stalks the stage in his skull like face paint like The Prodigy’s Keith Flint on speed(?!).
For two tracks it is just LaPlegua and his keyboard/computerist pounding out the gut churning beats but one by one the rest of the band emerge in time for the anthemic Blut Royale. Talk about stagecraft. LaPlegua has the Rock City crowd whipped up in no time and they’re loving every minute of it.
Occasional trippy, Faithless-esque moments during the quieter sections are quickly sent scurrying as the band’s primal, tribal bludgeoning of your senses continues unabated.
Get Your Body Beat, Throat Full Of Glass and Sent To Destroy are pure class tonight; like Ministry you can dance to, like The Prodigy but with all the fat trimmed off. Just sheer brilliant intensity. It’s easy to see why Rammstein took them along for their world tour.
After a brief Happy Birthday interlude for one of the band’s roadies the encores of Never Surrender and finally What The Fuck Is Wrong With You? bring tonight’s house down. Combichrist are true masters of their craft and you should catch them if you have the chance.
You will not be disappointed.
Click below to view more photos from the gig: