Wednesday, September 28, 2011


I used to feel intimidated coming to the Old Blue Last. Underdressed and over-nourished. Now I couldn't give a fuck. Watching them all, in their Sonic Youth shirts and Rick Moranis frames, feigning an interest in dubstep, mouthing the words to Nirvana. Another thing the Old Blue Last always delivers is good bands (and tinnitus)!

First up, mysterious Dorset powerviolence outfit Witch Cult. The vocalist has a Black Flag tattoo on his ankle, a Minor Threat patch on his cut-off jean shorts and straightedge crosses on both hands. He tears around the venue, rolling into ankles, spilling drinks and inadvertently attacking photographers (I assume).

Witch Cult's stage show is beyond intense. Like a punch in the throat: one minute stabs of orchestrated chaos. Their heavily-tattooed, Rip Offs-looking, ski-mask-wearing guitarist rolls around the floor, screaming into his guitar like a man possessed. Which is weird. Because after the show, unmasked, he sits quietly in the corner of the room. Legs crossed. Placid.

Over an hour later, hyped (and progressively brutal)
Californian hip-hop trio Death Grips hit the stage. Vocalist MC Ride de-hoods, revealing a body of cryptic-looking tattoos and sinewy muscles. Drummer Zach Hill, with his odd combination of rusted drums and broken cymbals, is a maniac. And his moments of madness blend perfectly with Death Grips' programmed beats and other catastrophic electronic noise pulses. MC Ride leads the assault though, menacing, in a trance.

By now, Old Blue Last is fuller than your local kebab shop at 1:00am on a Saturday morning. The dude-heavy front half of the dancefloor is pumping. Literally lost in the moment: shirts off, bodies intertwined, sweat exchanged (needless to say, I keep a safe distance to the side).

And that's that. Back out into the fresh air, ears ringing, senses overloaded, kebab craving initiated...

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