Warrior Soul - Bristol, Fleece - 7th July 2009 Print E-mail
Written by Gaz E   
Sunday, 26 July 2009 20:42

warrior-soul-016The last time I travelled to see Kory Clarke play live turned out to be one of the most bizarre nights of my rock ‘n’ roll life. A poisonous mixture of bad equipment and small town mentality transformed a potentially great solo performance into a fucked up farce. My review of that night was removed from the website it was written for under threat of legal action and, subsequently, afforded my writing much more attention than it would normally have had – thank you very much, mouth breathers.

The prospect of seeing Kory back fronting the legendary Warrior Soul offered up an unusual question; would I finally get some closure on that fateful night or would we, once again, have to leave the getaway car outside, engine running?

Cheltenham based metallers Isolation kicked off the rock show with a set that was, at times, heavier than John Candy’s coffin. Clad in orange boiler suits and fronted by a particularly frightening gentleman with black contact lenses, waist length dreadlocks and a cut-off straight jacket which is, I’m sure you’ll agree, much more metal than a denim cut-off. Their early kick off meant that the venue was sparsely populated but they turned in the kind of full-on performance that will surely appeal to all fans of the horn-throwing variety. The More I See feature Gizz Butt on guitar, former touring member of The Prodigy and punk legends The English Dogs. Any credibility this might offer is pissed away within thirty seconds of their opening song as he abuses the ears with some finger tapping fret wankery. The vocalist struts onstage with hair last seen on the cover of a Bonfire album and proceeds to turn in one of the most dated performances I have ever had the misfortune to see. In fact, at one point, I reach into my pocket for my phone just so I can check what the date is, half expecting to feel not a mobile phone at all but a fucking Rubik’s Cube. The fact that their best song is an awful cover of ‘Smack My Bitch Up’ – complete with King Diamond-esque screams – sadly says it all.

This UK tour by Warrior Soul precedes the third release, third title and third different attempt at cover art for their new album, now called ‘Destroy The War Machine’. Potential consumer confusion will matter not when the needle is put on the proverbial record – it is one sonic grenade of an album. Bristol is the fourth date of the tour, yet the first to feature guitarist Johnny H (no relation to the handsome Uber Rock scribe!) due to injuries caused in an attack – details unknown. The band played as a four piece for the first three dates but, when the spine of the band is made up of members of the excellent Hate Gallery, I’m guessing this posed few problems.

As the band tear into the expected intro, Kory Clarke strides onto the stage and ‘Interzone’ kicks the teeth out of those lucky, or clued in, enough to be in attendance. By the third song – an incendiary ‘Punk And Belligerent’ – Clarke is throwing shapes and middle fingers and proving that, on this kind of form, there are few frontmen who can touch him. Scrub that – in this kind of form, there are few bands who can get close to this kind of intense performance. This modern version of Warrior Soul is a punkier, grittier beast than any that has come before. ‘Shock Um Down’ kicks you in the cock and spits in your face, while ‘(Love Is) The Drug’ steals your wallet, fucks your girlfriend and pisses in your beer. ‘The Wasteland’ is epic, awesome and over far too quickly. A cunt of a curfew means that there is no time to play anything from the new record – we get no ‘Fuck The Pigs’ or the incredible sounds of ‘The Fourth Reich’. This causes only minor upset as what was on offer was as good as anything I’ve seen this year.

Seeing Kory Clarke on top form and throwing all manner of hurting bombs goes some way towards exorcising the ghosts of that notorious night several months earlier, when something as simple as breathing through your nose was considered showing off. Tonight, in a proper venue, with proper sound and real music fans, Kory and Warrior Soul were massive.