It’s Friday night in glamorous London Taaahn Innit, and as it’s Vones’ birthday, and he’s already well away by the time he arrives, it falls to me dear reader, to report to you all the latest musical juice pouring out around the tube station. Venture with me then, into the bowels of the Camden Underworld.
Actually, let’s arrive on time, realise all your mates are going to be an hour late, and pop into the Worst Pub In Camden ™ The World’s End for an overpriced pint of sour Blackthorn first. After a trip to the hellish toilets it’s time for another, before realising your ex-fiancée is bobbing about on the other side of the bar. I swiftly withdraw to the relative civilisation of the Camden Eye across the street, and in doing so increase the chances that this marvellous little boozer will ply me with free beer at some point.
Onto the gig! There’s a support band, but I’ve already forgotten their name-as far as I can tell they sounded a bit like Annihilator, only worse-high praise indeed! Onto the only actually Canadian group of the evening: Cauldron!
Taking the somewhat unusual career path of deliberately trying to sound like mid-80s second stringers, they’re actually quite good fun. All the band members are appropriately skinny, and singer Jason Decay (yes, really) has a magnificent Powerslave-era Bruce Dickinson Fringe married to a Geddy Lee voice, an overall effect that brings to mind 2 foxes fighting at a Cirith Ungol concert. To be fair, they do sound better than on the album, with a bass heavy sound and lots of general ridiculousness making them entertaining, if not actually good. Extra points are awarded for having a song with the ludicrous title “Chained Up In Chains”. They’ll go down a storm on the Euro mini-fest circuit.
Having alternated between fizzy, overpriced cider and fizzy, overpriced lager all evening, it’s time to switch to rum and try to ignore the mysterious stain that’s appeared on the Celtic Frost shirt-never let it be said I’m not sartorially prepared for these events – as a band already big on the festival circuit arrive-the joyously mental Wolf.
Wolf first came to my attention with their first album-I was going through a short phase of only buying CDs if they had either a man with an axe or a terrible beast on the cover – great way to get into Iron Angel I can tell you – and Wolf’s debut has possibly the worst rendering of a wolf ever commited to paper, witness it here.
Always locked up tight, constant touring with vets like Tankard and Saxon has honed the band to the nth degree, hackneyed stage patter and all. They make bad jokes, they headbang in unison, they get the audience to wolf-howl in memory of the dead. They’re great, sounding, as they always have, like Mercyful Fate covering the first two Iron Maiden albums, it’s the energy levels that keep this from dating, from hot rockin opener Evil Star, through to the menacingly silly closer Venom (Sample lyric – Dark as a shadow, sharp as a knife, a burning hellfire on the rise – suffice to say it’s hardly Ibsen), all that’s required to enjoy Wolf is a willingness to park your sense of cool outside the door and headbang like a grinning loon. If they’d been around 25 years ago, they’d be filling stadia by now, but we can be thankful they’re still in sweaty hellholes on a regular basis. Fist pounding fun for all.
Dizzy, sweaty and drunk, The DT staffers head to the Devonshire, where amazingly a DJ from my hometown is playing. He plays thew same set he played in 1990, only now enough time has passed that people think he’s ironic, rather than crap. I’d like to take this opportunity to say that if I’m ever stuck listening to “we’re not gonna take it” on a Friday night again I will burn the venue down. I retire for falaf.
A great metal night out-happy birthday Vones!