When New Jersey thrashers Overkill  played at the London Astoria in 1992, in comparison to the fantastic silliness of support band Lawnmower Deth their schtick seemed too serious and – aptly, given their name – too much. But that was then. These days Overkill are a bombastic delight, and tonight new shredfests such as Mean, Green, Killing Machine hold their own as they rub up against the likes of 1985’s calling card Rotten To The Core. The energy’s infectious; frontman Bobby ‘Blitz’ Ellsworth’s vocals can still shred glass – and that’s just his between-song chat. A suitably pissed-off version of Subhumans’ Fuck You leaves the audience supercharged and geared up for MAX AND IGGOR CAVALERA  – and the 20th anniversary of their world music milestone as Sepultura, Roots. The mix of brutal Brazilian ethnic metal and political epistles has toured internationally for the last 18 months, and the reaction to opener Roots Bloody Roots is electrifying. Heads bang, lyrics are bellowed, moshpit pockets break out and when Max barks, “Jump, fuckers!” the whole floor pogos. There’s huge cheers for Attitude’s berimbau break and Iggor’s pre-Canyon Jam drum solo – there’s even a frenzied Ace Of Spades cover and a smidgeon of Iron Man. The highlight, though? The percussive fiver-hander Itsári; primitive and uplifting, it speaks volumes of spiritual connection – an absolute return to roots – through Xavante tribal rhythm alone.
Jo is a journalist, podcaster, event host and music industry lecturer with 23 years in music magazines since joining Kerrang! as office manager in 1999. But before that Jo had 10 years as a London-based gig promoter and DJ, also working in various vintage record shops and for the UK arm of the Sub Pop label as a warehouse and press assistant. Jo's had tea with Robert Fripp, touched Ian Anderson's favourite flute (!), asked Suzi Quatro what one wears under a leather catsuit, and invented several ridiculous editorial ideas such as the regular celebrity cooking column for Prog, Supper's Ready. After being Deputy Editor for Prog for five years and Managing Editor of Classic Rock for three, Jo is now Associate Editor of Prog, where she's been since its inception in 2009, and a regular contributor to Classic Rock. She continues to spread the experimental and psychedelic music-based word amid unsuspecting students at BIMM Institute London, hoping to inspire the next gen of rock, metal, prog and indie creators and appreciators.