Acid Reign – Manchester, Rebellion – 8 December 2017 Print E-mail
Written by DJ Astrocreep   
Monday, 18 December 2017 04:20

There is initially some confusion over what time the venue opens and who exactly is playing, as Cryptic Shift, who are playing most of the tour, announce they are playing, as do Acid Reign, but without confirmation from the promoter, it seems, as, within a couple of hours of them welcoming them, Acid Reign post a comment that Cryptic Shift are not playing after all on this date. With this settled, I turn up at the venue to find that the start time has changed again, and is now half an hour later. Popping off to a nearby pub, I then head back to the start of the chaos.


Xentrix 6

PHOTO CREDIT: © The Dark Queen/Über Rock (taken at Bloodstock 2017).


First on, on their only scheduled night of the tour, is Xentrix and it's busy from the off. Some people are clearly here for them, as the response from an already busy room is very good, with plenty of headbanging and singing along showing the affection for Xentrix. Vocalist and guitarist Jay Walsh has a sticker on his guitar, which produces a childish laugh from my friend and certainly makes a good starting point for the night. They perform a well-rehearsed, tight set, finishing on the track ‘No Compromise’ to a lot of applause and have performed admirably, as you would expect from them, in their support slot.


People are still filing in, doing a decent job of filling up the room as next support Re-Animator from Hull take to the stage. They pick up the reins where Xentrix left off, getting the crowd moving well. Kev on vocals mentions between songs that this is their first gig back together since guitarist Dan has twice beaten cancer, to loud cheers from the still increasing crowd, before launching into ‘Denied Reality’, continuing to work the crowd up for the headline act. Kev mentions afterwards, jokingly, that that was an edited version, as he missed a bar during it, to sniggers from around the crowd. They call up Howard from Acid Reign now to perform guest vocals on a Dead Kennedys cover of ‘Too Drunk To Fuck’, for which Howard apologises to the band afterwards for ruining it, to more laughter from the crowd. This done, they have one more track to perform, in ‘Re-Animator’, which goes down well with the crowd, before they take their leave from the stage.


Acid Reign


The crowd now is very up for the gig, the atmosphere intense, but in a positive and lighthearted way. Acid Reign start off with singer Howard in pyjamas, a mosh pit starting with their first track, ‘Goddess’, which continues throughout their set. Howard is quickly into his renowned stage patter, with a “you're very much an Acid Reign crowd, fuck you very much” throwaway line drawing laughter from the crowd. A couple of tracks later, it's time for ‘Life In Forms’, opened by Howard loudly declaring that he wants the entire room to be a pit. He decides, during the song, that the stage is not enough for him, as he stands up on the metal bar at the front of the stage, hanging on to a support pole with his other arm, as he leers over the crowd in his inimitable way. The pyjamas have now disappeared, to his usual band shirt and 3/4 shorts and the stage diving begins, egged on by Howard, who seems intent on creating as much chaos and carnage as he can, as always.


He takes a slight breather at the end of this, before squeezing a bottle of water and flicking it out over the crowd, throwing the bottle into the crowd. He starts laughing and makes a comment again about it definitely being an Acid Reign crowd, as the response to him was apparently a middle finger from the person hit - which again draws more laughter from the crowd. There is very much an atmosphere of togetherness, of family, right the way through this. No dickheads (well, maybe apart from Howard!), just a group of people acting as one, the mosh pit looking out for each other, EXACTLY the way all gigs should be. Over the next few songs, Howard goes wandering again, deciding to stand on a wall at the back of the venue to sing ‘Plan Of The Damned’, before crowd surfing back as the back finish up the song, remarking that he is thrown back on stage,”like the bit of human garbage that I am”, before describing the scenes during the next song as "absolute fucking chaos - I love it!"


This love in between the band, especially the vociferous Howard, with the crowd continues, as Howard then jumps up, grabbing on to a support beam along the ceiling of the venue, before using it like monkey bars to work his way out, above the mosh pit, and dropping into it, charging head first like a bull into it himself, as much a part of what is going on as any of the paying customers. It's things like this that go so far to endearing Acid Reign to their fans and audiences, it is a feeling that everyone are equals, regardless of anything, that we are all one. There is now time for a Suzanne Vega cover, namely ‘Blood Makes Noise’, which he says she liked when they sent it to her, before further remarking that she obviously hasn't seen them play and doesn't know how bad they are, showcasing further a level of self-deprecation missing from a lot of people who have been involved in bands quite as long as they have. After a couple of more tracks, they go to the side of the stage, for the fans to shout for an encore - of which there is a vociferous need - before they come back on to play one last song, where Howard decides to go crowd surfing again, before, almost breathlessly, announcing that they won't be back for a while, as they will be writing a new album, which draws the last loud applause and shouts of the night.


Acid Reign: once again showing how thrash gigs should be. No bullshit, no egos: just a sense of family, loud noise and plenty of riffs!


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