Much like Top Gear splitting with its presenters or Zayn leaving One Direction, Friday’s exodus of party leaders has left our nation flabbergasted and in ready supply of memes. On the plus side, there’s a salvo of gigs going off this week – get in the pit, break a leg and then get it fixed for free while you still can.
Alunah: Edinburgh, Bannerman’s, Saturday 16th May We all love a bit of Black Sabbath – if you don’t, you’ve probably stumbled upon this page looking for actual metal hammers. Alunah’s affinity with the Brummie legends is evident; bluesy rhythms, sinister guitar riffs and the wail of vocalist Sophie Day all hark back to Ozzy-era Sabbath. Latest album Awakening The Forest sees the Midlands four piece tightening their sound, ensuring the worship is apparent but not, in any way, imitation. Forgive the GCSE drama piece music video, though.
Hoobastank, P.O.D. and Alien Ant Farm: Cardiff, University Students’ Union, Friday 15th May “When this baby hits 88 miles per hour… you’re gonna see some serious shit.” We saw cowboys, hover-boards and Michael J. Fox stealing Chuck Berry’s mojo… but this, Doc? Surely this is too far? Apparently not. While all three bands haven’t released anything of merit in a while (or ever, as some stern-faced believers will tell you), there’s no denying that pure injection of nostalgia as Alien Ant Farm drop Smooth Criminal. Put away your Porcupine Tree vinyl, remember all the good stuff like Turkey Twizzlers and shoes that light up when you walk and realise that nu metal did, in fact, spawn a few decent tunes.
Fearless Vampire Killers: Sheffield, Corporation, Saturday 16th May Say what you will about their questionable attire, but Fearless Vampire Killers have improved so much over the past few years. Latest release Unbreakable Hearts was by no means perfect, but showed a satisfyingly ambitious side to the band’s previously formulaic slices of alternative rock. Even if Fearless Vampire Killers don’t tickle your proverbial fancy, then the spasmodic post-hardcore of support band Zoax should be enough to reel you in. You could hate music and love Zoax; frontman Andy Carroll is hilarious, and sports a supremely crafted beard to boot.
U.K. Subs: Nottingham, Forest Tavern, Friday 15th May While we all adore the Misfits, watching the band’s current incarnation can be a bit painful. Many bands of their ilk have become watered-down, pale imitations of their crusty former selves – but not the U.K. Subs. Still as vehemently venomous as they were nearly four decades ago, the Subs always deliver in the live arena and still retain their anti-establishment roots. Ever wondered if there’s an album devoted to critiquing Nick Clegg? Of course there is, and it’s by the U.K. Subs.
Pensevor: Bournemouth, The Old Fire Station, Tuesday 12th May Were Down and Triptykon ever to collaborate, decide against the project and throw the primitive two track demo into the bin, it would probably sound a bit like Pensevor – after a fox had pissed on the tape, mind you. We’re talking miserable, shouty barrages of low-fi, sludgy doom; they’re sandwiched between an assortment of trip-hop, house and drum ‘n’ bass acts on Tuesday night, and even if that’s not your bag, it’s three quid.
Electric Wizard: Camden, Roundhouse, Friday 15th May The Roundhouse has bore witness to landmark gigs from the likes of Devin Townsend, Down and Paradise Lost over the last few years. Now, in 2015, Electric Wizard will bulldoze the Grade II listed building into oblivion; have the staff there heard Dopethrone? Those riffs are heavier than a caravan full of Cybermen. Yes, Down have graced the Roundhouse’s stage, but metal this doom-laden and dense has yet to conquer its hallowed hallways. This changes on Friday.
Enuff Z’Nuff: Ballymena, Diamond Rock Club, Sunday 17th May This band’s been knocking about for ages, but due to emerging in 1989, they missed the boat that carried Twisted Sister, Def Leppard and other bouffant-haired blokes to stardom. No matter – they’ve been recording and touring almost constantly since day one, and last year’s Covered In Gold proves that there’s still room on your iPod for unnecessary guitar solos and gigantic glam rock melodies. Dig out your spandex, son.
Tome: Cork, Mr Bradleys, Saturday 16th May A band so underground they don’t even have a YouTube channel, Tome dig to the surface with their little mole paws to execute an evening of unrivalled filth. It’s just unpleasant to listen to, really – monotonous, monolithic riffs roll along slower than erosion and distorted screams scrape the ears like a honey badger searching for food. But we love that sort of stuff anyway.