Thursday, 11 March 2010

555 ...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD, Vue, Sunshine, Bristol Academy, Monday 29 April 2002

Back to the Bristol Academy, which is becoming quite a regular haunt, for the return of the tiny Texan terrors. Took our own "terror", Ady the champion Aardvark, along, and hit the venue at 8.30, by which time Eastern European support Sunshine were peddling a type of heavy hip-hop instrumentation onstage, which I just found dirge-like. Stayed at the bar while main support Vue were on; they played a schizophrenic set of unobtrusive Kravitz-like rawk. Not too good really.

The place was surprisingly quiet tonight, with the upstairs balcony closed, so for once we managed to get on the dancefloor for the main act here! Trail Of Dead, hot off the back of their most consistent and cohesive CD yet in "Source Tags And Codes", came on at 10 and burst into dynamic life. The current CD is their most song-oriented and least frantic yet, but "live" the songs took flight with ...TOD's usual kinetic dynamism and sonic assault. An early "Mistakes And Regrets" was fantastic, and the new material sounded thrilling given the roughhouse "live" treatment. After the usual instrument swapping, during which drummer Jason took vocal chores and used the opportunity to hurl himself headlong into the mosh at least twice, howling with anger and intensity, we got an equally stunning and intense "Perfect Teenhood", then the usual instrument and drum-kit trashing after "Richter Scale".

Then something odd happened - the boys came back onstage and re-assembled their instruments! Despite the poor turnout, ...TOD resolved to, "play all night for you NME-reading Limeys," so said Jason (a remark that solicited a catcall of "redneck asshole" from his own bassist Neil!). In the end we settled for a quicksilver run-through of "Totally Natural", after which they trashed the stage again, once and for all. Another great set from one of the most dynamic "live" bands around!

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