Tuesday, 1 June 2010

475 ...AND YOU WILL KNOW US BY THE TRAIL OF DEAD, Of Arrowe Hill, Bristol Fleece, Monday 4 December 2000

We finally got along to this show! This one was postponed due to a riot at a TOD gig in the States which trashed most of TOD's gear, so we were well up for the rearranged date. So, all togged in black (Rachel even dyed her hair black, although not entirely just for this gig) off we did trot, getting into the already busy venue early doors. Of Arrowe Hill, a motley looking bunch with a vocalist wearing a trilby hat and a Crass t-shirt (!) were first up, and weren't too good at all. For starters, they need a serious amount of practice, but even so were plodding along in the miserablist footprints of the likes of Radiohead. Not one to watch really, so I didn't! Ran into TOD's Neil Busch, whom I'd also met at Reading Festival, by the backstage area, which was cool.

By the time TOD took the stage, the place was heaving and the men in black (except white-shirted Neil) arrived onstage with a health warning; "things are gonna get pretty loud!". This proved to be the case, as opener "Totally Natural" hit with the force of a tsunami; confrontational and intense, and setting the tone for the entire performance. Musically, TOD are Seafood in extremis; loud, fast, spiky, harsh and acerbic, taking their own musical cues from the likes of The Pixies and Sonic Youth. Their performance, however, is pretty incredible, with harsh passion and intensity the bywords. Neil dipped, ducked and dived like The Gravel Pit's Ed Valauskas, doing the Chuck Berry walk, and Conrad and Jason alternated between vocals and drums, belting out the anger and vitriol with a vengeance. "Blight Takes All" was superb, and the climactic "A Perfect Teenhood" was as crazed and chaotic as at Reading, the semi-cathartic instrument trashing a perfect and totally fitting climax.

I managed to get onstage and procure a set-list from all the wreckage, which was small beer compared to some punters going for pedals and cymbals etc... A guy next to me grabbed a cymbal, and was immediately grabbed by Jason and Neil from the band! I then took a breather, bumping into a guy from Boston who noted my "Planet Records" t-shirt and waxed nostalgic about TT's and the Big Dipper, and I then got my set-list signed, in the process getting mistaken myself for a member of the band by a fellow punter. Must be the black hair and gear...then we hit the road after a very intense evening. Incredible stuff from the new men in black!

No comments:

Post a Comment