|Deathtime Assembly - London, The Pipeline - 19th & 20th February 2016|
|Written by Darrel Sutton & Dom Daley|
|Tuesday, 08 March 2016 03:00|
I’ve always had a soft spot for the Turbojugend. With a premise of partying as hard as possible and a fanatical following of bands they take a shine to, any event involving any of their chapters worldwide are always unmissable affairs. So when dyed in the wool, Kutte-wearing mofos Lee Love and Thomas Evrenos (chief Hip Priests felcher /bassist and Pipeline bar owner respectively) put together a stunning ten band, two day bill at the latter’s establishment it was no surprise to see tickets flying out of the door. The fact it also doubled as a TJ convention just added to the appeal.
And so it was that I skanked off work a bit early to head to the Big Smoke for the full weekend deal. National Express, the M4 and West End of London traffic threatened to dampen my mood and whilst they put paid to me catching the earlier parts of the Friday agenda I did manage to get my arse in place to catch a couple of songs of Fuck Frankie, who seemed to be getting things nice and lively with their raw, garage-tinged punk rock. Apologies are due though to Crude Caress, who I missed completely due to the aforementioned delays.
A quick scout around both levels of the venue revealed that the place was totally fucking rammed and I had to make my excuses and truncate numerous catch-up chats to ensure a prime position to catch a band I’d looking forward to watching, like a big kid, for the past few months. Oslo’s The Good The Bad And The Zugly released one of the albums of 2015 in ‘Hadeland Hardcore’ and they hit the stage with that record’s opener ‘Who Will Save Scandirock?’ The sound’s a bit patchy but the band are a total burst of energy. Fortunately the sound is sorted pronto and the band hit their stride in jaw-dropping fashion. Frontman Ivar is like Dennis Lyxzen on PCP and as they rip through ‘Fucking Is Awesome’ and ‘Hate Will Get Us Everywhere’ the crowd feed off his energy and everything gets very lively. They play a good mix of material; all of it fast as fuck, giving their debut album ‘Anti World Music’ equal attention via the likes of ‘Reaction, Formation’, ‘I Ain’t Got A Job’ and ‘Call The Cops’, but it’s the newer stuff that really ratchets everything up to nuclear level, with ‘Dad Brains’ in particular blowing my, and many other’s heads off. It’s quite hard to put into words just how fucking intense and brilliant The Good The Bad And The Zugly are tonight and by the time Captain Poon joins them for set closer ‘Jag Ar Inte Bitter’ most people have a content, glazed look on their face and are mostly muttering phrases akin to “Fucking hell, how superb were they?” . In years to come I can say “I was there,” if you weren’t then I win and you don’t. Simple, and fucking awesome.
It’s a real shame for The Parkinsons that they had to follow The Good The Bad And The Zugly because on any other night Fonzy and crew would have blown most bills to bits. As it goes they put a nice cherry on the cake that is the beginning of a very mad and very fun weekend. They deliver their stripped down punked-up rock ‘n’ roll with great aplomb and Fonzy is as manic as expected and as the hordes head to the bar I head back to the hotel absolutely wankered but well chuffed and looking forward to what promises to be a hell of a Saturday in Old London Town.
Saturday nights alright for fighting, well that’s what I'm led to believe and tonight is a heavyweight competition of gargantuan proportions. No seriously this is the strongest line up I've seen in quite some time and all under one roof. The “sold out” sign goes up and London's Flash House take the stage to get proceedings off to a brutal start as they pulverise the early birds into submission with a very tasty set. With this being guitarist Dave Kerr's swansong before departing to far off shores this is one hell of a goodnight with 'No Solution' being a particularly high point. Jesus it's not even seven o'clock and the fun has begun in earnest with some no compromise - full throttle - adrenalin fuelled rock and fucking roll!
Zero Zero fly in from Scandinavia and proceed to strip paint off the walls with their punk rock tunes and I must admit to not being familiar with these loons at all, but their short but sweet set was refreshing and whilst sonically different from tonight’s curtain raisers Flash House they also delivered the business. Half six did seem a bit early for full frontal lead singer nudity but hey if it's good enough for Iggy then Zero Zero can follow suit.
I think it would be fair to point out that half seven isn't the usual time that The Chuck Norris Experiment usually take the stage but tonight that’s exactly what time they put on their shit kickers and for the next forty five minutes they get straight on it. With an audience to impress they delve into their impressive back catalogue and proceed to fire off some big guns early doors and just a few songs in they unleash an impressive 'Roof Is About To Cave In' and it literally is as Rooster and Ransom prowl the audience getting eye to eye with their people. This is shaping up to be something pretty special. With an impressive hard rocking repertoire CNE had most certainly brought their A Game to the Deathtime Assembly with a spectacular 'Bullshit City'.
Not known for doing things in half measures South Wales’ finest glunkers The Sick Livers don't do choreographed moves and smoothly rehearsed sets, and tonight was certainly no exception. With super sub bass player Darrel Sutton in tow (yup the same one who just reviewed the Friday night for Uber Rock) it was once more into the breach for our intrepid antiheroes as they proceeded to knock out a rather nifty, chaotic, frantic and to be perfectly frank (if I may) joy filled forty minutes. It didn't matter that Dai was missing and Sutton had only had one short practice with the band because it’s a question of attitude and these boys are dripping in it.
One thing The Livers do is put a big assed smile on people’s faces. Sure they have the tunes (obviously) but they also have the ability to make you have a great time no matter what shit you might be going through - Ginge and his crew will love you long time and genuinely appreciate your attendance and in exchange they will give you 'I Need Nurse', 'Cocaine Jeans' and the infectious 'Dark, Dangerous And Delicious'.. With oxygen being at a premium in The Pipeline Ginge got the majority of punters to sit on the beer soaked floor before being hoisted over head for the encore of 'Denim Demon'. Another mighty fine performance and more people jump on board the crazy rollercoaster that is The Sick Livers but don't be fooled because these boys certainly have the tunes. Perfect!
As the evening flies by it's time for the Black Denim Blitz that is The Hip Priests, and having already witnessed four very impressive bands it was time for the undisputed kings of the UK underground garage punk scene to test their mettle and step up to the plate and show an expectant audience exactly what they are made of. Without any fluff or bullshit The Hip Priests have their business heads on and strip away any pretence and absolutely brutalise The Pipeline for the next three quarters of an hour. When they hit 'Zero Fucks Given' it sounds like a symphony is playing and I swear The Pipeline floor just moved, such was the power of the rock ‘n’ roll. Damn this evening is just getting better and better. Sure all the bands tonight fit together like peas in a pod but there is a world of difference in their styles and approaches with each band having their own identity and on tonight's evidence a wealth of songs between them all. Von Cruz prowls the stage with menace whilst new drummer Joe Blow has added another dimension to the songs and perhaps even a new burst of energy (like The Hip Priests needed that) with songs pulled from their entire back catalogue it was the newer songs like 'Wired, Amped, Skulled' that rammed home just how great a band they are. There isn't time to fuck about - that's not the Hip Priests style - they dance to their own drum beat and compromise for nobody. If you’re in you’re in, if you’re not then see ya! Tonight though is evidence that there are many who want in and as long as this eight legged behemoth keeps turning in performances like this then I'd a fool not to report on it as such. Ending their set with some Motorhead in the shape of ‘The Hammer' The Hip Priests hammered home how fucking fantastic they are. It was a brave move and put one hell of a full stop at the end of their performance. They came - they played - they owned it!
Had we really reached the end? Damn it was Bloodlights time and the Saturday night of Deathtime Assembly was almost done and dusted. Captain Poon took to the stage ably flanked by the rest of Bloodlights and gave me exactly what I wanted with a set peppered with songs from all three Bloodlights records and the excellent new EP as well as a sprinkling of covers in the shape of 'A New England' and a most welcome take on the Dead Boys’ classic 'All This And More'. Fashioning an excellent sound the four piece showed their sheer class on songs like 'Simple Pleasures' and 'One Eye Open'. Considering the calibre of bands on before them Bloodlights rose to the occasion and had real star quality and whilst some punters might have crashed and burned after The Priests those who remained could see they were in the presence of real class and this Norwegian four piece justified every inch why they were headliners.
From my viewpoint Deathtime Assembly was nothing but a resounding success and I'm sure those present will talk about it for a long time to come as many of the bands really did pull out all the stops and spur each other on with some of the best live performances anywhere on this slightly frayed planet of ours. Here’s to the next one!
Photographs courtesy of Dave Zorg www.musikpix.com