Madball at The Underworld, London - live review

The Gospel - live

Crowd shot

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Thanks to their relentless touring, it feels like Madball play the Underworld every other week. Had you never seen them before you might wonder why they continue filling the same venue with such regularity, but if you’ve experienced the New York hardcore legends before, you’ll know why people can’t get enough of their impeccable old-school attack. Vocalist Freddy Cricien doesn’t appear to have aged since he first set foot on the stage over two decades ago, still charging around and barking out classics like Set It Off, Pride and Look My Way like a bucking bronco. Soon the walls are dripping with sweat, the setlist has been ditched and Freddy is taking requests from the crowd. “Who came out to see us with Korn and Limp Bizkit?” he asks to a cheer, referencing last year’s arena tour. “Respect to those guys for giving us that opportunity, and respect to you if you liked what you saw on that big stage and decided to come check us out for the first time tonight.” If you didn’t, rest assured, they’ll be back soon.

Stephen Hill

Since blagging his way onto the Hammer team a decade ago, Stephen has written countless features and reviews for the magazine, usually specialising in punk, hardcore and 90s metal, and still holds out the faint hope of one day getting his beloved U2 into the pages of the mag. He also regularly spouts his opinions on the Metal Hammer Podcast.