Suicidal Tendencies - Camden, Electric Ballroom - 15th August 2011 Print E-mail
Written by Ross Welford   
Saturday, 27 August 2011 05:00

 

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Suicidal Tendencies are a band that have always stayed with me throughout my youth and, towards my so-called maturing years, I've always been fiercely loyal to the Cyco army. Their output may not be lauded like Slayer's or Metallica's and they may never have been as hugely popular as Megadeth or Anthrax, yet for many their brand of punk/metal with melody, occasional funk and social lyrics can never be beaten. Times have changed and many fans still clamber for guitarist Rocky George to return to the band and their recent releases (or re-recordings) are a poor reflection of the band themselves and simply do no justice to the massive crossover influence this band have had. But in their so called twilight years they've still become a major pleasure to watch and I'm amazed they're not a staple of all major festivals in Europe. For as much as I want to rant and rave about ST, this is about one night at Camden's Electric Ballroom which until two days before (due to the morons who want a free pair of trainers or a TV) was in serious doubt of going ahead.
 

Lights, Camera...........Suicidal


With a queue of people stretching far down the road and the doors not being opened at the appointed time, support band Shrapnel must have played to the bar staff only - possibly the poorest, slowest entrance that there has ever been. At 21:25 I actually manage to get in with the band due on in five minutes. The place is rammed and after a quick merch look (ST know how to sell tour merch - shirts, hats [about seven styles each], shorts, CDs, stickers, baseball tops, vests, DVDs). I venture stage left to hear the strains of 'You Can't Bring Me Down' start trickling from the speakers and the band take their places to mass cheers. The prolonged intro builds the excitement for the one man that IS Suicidal Tendencies....Cyco Mike Muir. The crowd simply go mental when he appears, surfers start their pilgrimage to the front in their board shorts and bandanas and Cyco Miko comes out of the blocks like the fucking Duracell bunny. Looking fit and trimmer than he has in years, he's bouncing around the stage like a lunatic to the excitement of the crowd. The sound is quality and after the heavy metal version, they simply start funking the song up whilst still keeping the heavy edge going, turning it into a great opening introductory song and with only a slight pause to grab your breath, they follow it up with punk classic, 'Institution' - still immense after all these years.

 

Now this being ST, you know the between song banter/ranting is always worth trying to listen to, tonight being no exception with highlights including Cyco's rant at the UK looters who terrorised the streets for a few days coming to the fore suggesting he'd be the first to gladly punch anyone caught stealing a TV from a shop and ruining an honest man's living (the irony in playing 'Freedom' straight after is not lost on anyone in attendance) and an hilarious Cyco story delivered in his best Dick Van Dyke English accent ("He's a Pirate") about his first encounter in the UK. Classics follow including 'Join The Army', 'War Inside My Head' and 'Subliminal' and you realise that this might not be the original band but this version (including Cyco's ever present lieutenant Mike Clark) are tight and heavy as fuck, not missing a beat once and genuinely looking like they're enjoying themselves. Another classic follows with skate anthem 'Possessed To Skate' getting a massive reception followed by 'We Are Family' and the brilliant 'Cyco Vision'. 'I Saw Your Mommy....' is as potent and venomous as it was the day it was conceived and we even get a short drum solo from man mountain Eric Avery before they play 'I'm Alive'.

 

An hour and 20 minutes later, with fans happy at the on-form musical spread laid out before them, 'Pledge Your Allegiance' is aired. Now firmly placed in the minds of the fans as the Suicidal track that gets Cyco to allow fans on stage to dance, jump, headbang and generally make the security guards worry for their jobs. At least 25 fans are on the small stage as the whole crowd chant ST.ST.ST.ST.ST.ST at the top of their lungs to finish off a top, top performance. Great stuff from every band member tonight and as I leave to find the tube full of grown men chanting ST at each other, you can't help but smile and realise what a great band they still are. Maybe that back catalogue needs investigating by more people than already know it.


Suicyco mutha fuckers still rule. FACT.


And I even forgot to tell you ST told us there's a new album out this year. Can't wait.

 

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