Author Archives: Interceptor

The Record Player@Concrete – 1979

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recordplayer

Normally here on DT we avoid clubs and stick to real, actual live music, but it’s Saturday night in London Town’s most self-consciously hip district, which usually means cocktails in a former bomb shelter surrounded by pencil ‘tashed hipsters. But despite the lure of Deep House and hen parties at nearby Axis, we’ve managed to get ourselves down to Shoreditch High Street, avoided trying to sneak into Shoreditch house, and made it into Concrete for a night of retro thrills courtesy of new concern The Record Player….

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RIP Ronnie James Dio

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Sad news just in tonight that legendary metal vocalist Ronnie James Dio has passed away after losing his ongoing battle with stomach cancer at the age of 67.

His wife and long time manager Wendy left a message on Dio’s official website for fans today:

Today my heart is broken, Ronnie passed away at 7:45am 16th May. Many, many friends and family were able to say their private good-byes before he peacefully passed away. Ronnie knew how much he was loved by all. We so appreciate the love and support that you have all given us. Please give us a few days of privacy to deal with this terrible loss. Please know he loved you all and his music will live on forever.

- Wendy Dio

Although his Dungeons & Dragons imagery and diminutive stature occasionally led to ridicule, Dio was widely regarded as a true professional by fellow musicians. From humble beginnings playing trumpet and bass guitar in the late 50’s and 60’s his distinctive vocals helped define the sound of late 70’s heavy rock during stints in Rainbow and as Ozzy Osbourne’s replacement in Black Sabbath – he had recently reformed with members of Sabbath and was intending to tour under the ‘Heaven & Hell’ moniker – and he is widely credited for popularising the distinctive ‘devil’s horn’s’ salute familiar to rockers worldwide.
Ronnie also fronted his own band and became America’s number one touring act during the mid-80’s, and despite wavering fortunes continued to tour consistantly to the last.

dio

On a personal note, we here at DT would like to extend our sympathies to Ronnie’s family. Having crossed paths with the man on several occasions over the years, he was a dedicated and genuinely pleasant individual who created some of the most singular and influential music in metal and his presence will be keenly missed by friends and fans alike.

Bang Your Head for..Jesus??

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One day, long after man has departed for the stars, we’ll gert tired of posting up stupid Slayer cut n’ pastes…but not today I’m afraid.

Bolt Thrower/Rotting Christ/The Rotted – ULU, London

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May 2nd, ULU – London

The Rotted

The Rotted

As befits a holiday weekend, it’s pissing down in London, so the DT staff hole up in a nearby pub and arrive late at University of London Union’s cavernous main hall just as The Rotted take the stage. While the banter is upbeat and the musicianship tight there’s a definite feeling that the band may be ploughing a rather dull furrow, their attempts to form a death metal conga line dredging up uncomfortable memories of 80’s chancers like Xentrix or Tortoise Korpse. Musically it’s a slightly odd mix, with black metal drums backing up some thrashy death and a very British sense of humour unfortunately undermining their credibility. They’re solid and spirited but ultimately unremarkable, meaning we quickly return to the merchandise area/bar/school hall area, avoiding a gigantic, very pissed skin in a Rudimentary Peni shirt in our efforts to locate a BT shirt that isn’t in XXXL size. This doesn’t exist, but luckily Greek titans Rotten Christ turn up to break the tedium.

Rotting Christ

Rotting Christ

While their move from the crawling evil that typified their early sound (and was far more appropriate to the band name)into the anthemic, gothed up festival sound they currently sport doesn’t always make sense on disc, in the live arena it makes them Christ a force to be reckoned with. Huge, swelling sound and chanting broken by those distinctive uro-centric barking vox and soaring solos. RT are a fist-pumping, festival-friendly crowd pleaser that magically lure every female in the room to the front while managing to keep up the spirits of their boyfriends back at the bar. A solid performance and the best sound of the day.

Another hour of dork watching, drinking and bemoaning the closure of the Astoria to all and sundry passes amiably enough, until that lost-but-not-forgotten opening theme strikes up and Bolt Thrower amble onto the stage, all happy faces and friendly waving at odds with the crushing war machine image and ridiculous stained glass logo.

Bolt Thrower

Bolt Thrower

It’s hard to believe everyone’s favourite Warhammer obsessed brummies have been absent from the live scene for the best part of a decade, so anticipation is high. Unfortunately the actual experience can’t compete.

‘The Sound’s Shit’ remarks a punter in front of me, and he’s spot on.

Masters of the run-gu-gud-dada chugalong school of Death, BT are hamstrung by a wobbly, thin mix that no amount of geniality from frontman Karl Willetts can cover. Ultimately we’re left watching some good natured midlanders wandering around the stage, classics like Kill Chain failing to connect –or occasionally even reach – all of the audience, leading to a lack of fun down the front and indifference at the back. Sad to say, but it makes the whole thing boring. Bolt Thrower are a great band – professional, fun, drinking-man’s death metal – and they deserve a better venue. Finger’s crossed it’s a one-off and they’ll be back on form for the next campaign.

Castles.

As buildings go, they’re already pretty metal aren’t they? Can you think of any other buildings incorporating a murder hole?

This legacy of carnage obviously wasn’t enough for Rochester Castle however, which recently upped the ante by displaying a massive AC/DC gig (with a little help from Seeper). According to company founder Evan Grant:

“This onslaught of the senses saw the castle confront its ultimate challenge. Warping, morphing, spewing and collapsing before the audience’s eyes. Let there be rock!”

And who are we to argue with that?

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