Yet another Hit & Run show, this time in a rather unexpected location. Usually the Underground hosts the “bigger” names of the music industry and the beverage prices are not really inviting to some people as well. Still the small room in the back of the venue, labelled “Underground 2”, has its charm every now and then. It only gets slightly problematic when the audience of one show and the crowd of the other one meet in the bar room. Hilarious. Yesterday saw a brilliant mixture of sXe hardcore kids and drunk metalheads in long leather coats.
I was rehearsing with A Modest Proposal in the afternoon and had already prepared myself to go home for another hour before leaving for the Underground when a text message told me some friends already arrived at the venue. Not that many people there by the time I got there, but the crowd grew bigger and bigger with the time passing. First up was a “militant vegan straight edge” (self description) band called Sink Or Swim, five rather young musicians from the Ruhrpott area north of Cologne. X-ed up hands are something I haven’t seen at a show in a long time. These guys looked very young so it’s no wonder their spirit is still pure and ferocious, their views are radical and militant. What’s lacking is musical finesse. Hardcore with fierce screaming vocals by a female singer, nothing special really. A stereotypical support band. Still when they were breaking things down into really slow mosh parts, that’s where things became interesting to me. If Sink Or Swim can improve on those things we might be in for something good, think of bands like Snapcase here. Until then this really isn’t my cup of tea, because the music is just too average.
What was really pleasant about this show were the short waits in between the different performances. Changeovers were done very quickly, so the next band for the evening, Manifestation from Saarlouis, a region close to France where the people speak a very funny dialect. Their music was a lot more professional than what we heard from Sink Or Swim. Tough guy hardcore with lots of mosh beat breakdowns, hard riffs, there wasn’t a reason to complain really. It’s not something I’d want to see at every show I go to, but from time to time it’s a nice change to the routine of going to shows in Cologne.
Goldust were up next and a friend had warned me about their live presence without really going into details so I didn’t really know what to expect. Turned out they unleashed a very chaotic brand of hardcore with lots of different influences. Blastbeats and melodies, vocals on the verge of entering a looney bin, right from the start this was really fun to watch. And I doubt that you’ll get an impression of what they are like on stage when you just listen to their music on a record. Still the more they played I somehow got a little bored, but that might be because of me not getting enough sleep over the past few days.
Sirens closed off the evening and it was very nice that there are still singers who use their own voice and don’t grunt or scream. This Ruhrpott area band sports a nice mixture between positive hardcore bands like Uniform Choice and heavy riffs which slightly remind me of Black Sabbath influenced bands. Sounds strange? Might be, but it works. They played a short set which might have been because of the strict timetable the Underground dictates to all organizers. Shows have to end at 11 pm sharp. Still I enjoyed myself a lot and I might pick up one of their records the next time I go out shopping.
So all in all it was a very pleasant evening with lots of familiar faces and nice conversations although it didn’t look like it when I showed up there. And it’s also nice to hear that people seem to appreciate what we are doing with Arktika as one guy was showering me with compliments. If things turn out right we will play Cologne in May and that will be a lot of fun.
(If a friend sends me some pictures of last night’s show I’ll post them here…)