The Heavy Metal Muppets is a place for all things Metal with a particular emphasis on the London Underground Metal scene. We are a bunch of friends who have been into Metal since the late 80's and want to share our enthusiasm with anyone else who's prepared to listen. The format varies and we hope keeps it interesting for everyone, so keep your eyes peeled for reviews, interviews, memoirs and live videos amongst other things \m/

Monday, 31 January 2011

Little Caesar & The Treatment - 30th January 2011

So Toes and I trundled over to the Hawley Arms in Camden on Sunday afternoon to meet our mates Alex, Rajiv, Sam and Vic before making our way to The Camden Underworld for Little Caesar. I quite like this pub actually. It's a lot like many other pubs in North London going for this kind of shabby chic thing. Anyway, we had a few pints and braved the sub zero temeratures in our beer jackets and made our way over to The Camden Underworld.

We arrived about fifteen minutes after the doors had opened. We were let in through the small entrance which was a new experience for me. I like new experiences. They had blocked off the main bar, I guess because it wasn't sold out. The place was the emptiest I had ever seen it. It was weird. It started to make me feel like we were going to have a crappy night. Oh well, sod it, let's just drink some more beer then.

Sons of Icarus were the first band on stage. Mob handed we all went to the front by the stage to lend some support because it was so empty and these guys did rock. They are just like Led Zepplin actually. So much like Led Zepplin, as Alex said, that they even do the seven minute song thing and the guitarist was doing all that Jimmy Page stuff. They were fun though and seemed like a nice bunch of lads when we spoke to them after their set. I'd go and see them again for sure.

Toes & Boojay with The Treatment
The Treatment were up next. OK, to be honest this band was the reason why we were here in the first place. I saw them last year supporting Zodiac Mindwarp and they really, seriously ROCK. They remind me of a young Skid Row but rockier. These guys are only young old but play like a band with way more years behind them. I liked it when Matt (the vocalist) said, "We're not into all that politics stuff, we're only nineteen!" I was singing along like a muppet especially to "Shake the Mountain". By now the venue had filled out significantly which was a relief. These boys had the place going (as much as an audience of that age do get going I suppose). We had a bit of a chat with them and some of their Mums and Dads after their set which was very cool too. Their new album is out on the 7th February, can't wait for that. Also, they told us that they're playing a free show at The Underworld on 24th February which I definitely intend to see! These guys are definitely one to watch in my opinion. I hope they go far, they really deserve it.

Finally, Little Caesar. I remember back in the early nineties when these guys were really famous, I never thought I'd get to see them in such a small venue. Like I've said before though, this is a great time for rock and metal fans because this is happening more and more these days with bands that were much bigger years ago. I thought that The Treatment were a very hard act to follow, however, you got to hand it to these old boys, they know what they're doing. Right from the start they belted out great tune after great tune. Toes actually said that it was the best concert she had ever seen in her life. I think they were pretty chuffed when I asked her tell them that in person. It was one of those gigs that you enjoy so much you don't want it to end. All of us loved it and have been chatting about it all morning. There wasn't a disappointing moment apart from maybe the sparse crowd at the beginning, but whatever Trevor that fixed itself. I think the old fellas were genuinly pleased to be playing up there and received a great response from us that they thoroughly deserved.

Best band of the evening... The Treatment, hands down.


Friday, 28 January 2011

Bracewar - 27 January 2011

I know I said it would be Little Caesar up next but I managed to sneak another cheeky gig in first. Bracewar on Wednesday 27 January 2011.

So, Toes (my long suffering girlfriend) and I rock up to the Purple Turtle in Camden to see the mighty Bracewar. Toes is not a hardcore metal fan per se, but does enjoy the occasional outing. Anyway, we arrive and there's a fucking queue! Can you believe that shit? On a Wednesday night?! Fuck, I haven't bought tickets in advance for the first time in my life... We're not getting in.

So, we get in. First things first, let's get a pint. We slither over to the bar... And we find that there's no draught beer apparently. The cooler system apparently broke down just before everyone showed up apparently.  What a load of old bullshit apparently. Shame on you Purple Turtle for fobbing us off with old stock you need to get rid of apparently. So unsubtle. I'm very disappointed.

First band up, again I can't remember their name, I think it might have been Crossbreaker or something like that. I didn't really like these guys. I think the fact that their singer spent all night trying to avoid all eye contact with the audience was distracting. He just stood in the crowd like a weirdo. Seriously, he spent 30 seconds on stage with his back turned to us and then bounced off it into the crowd, where he spent the rest of the 15 minute set. Personally, I don't mind a bit of wandering but for the majority of the time I like to see the band on the stage... Call me old fashioned...

Up next, Breaking Point. Awesome. Really awesome. I think I said to Toes half way through the first song, "I think this is going to be the best band tonight". These guys had bags of energy and busted out some really great tunes. I will definitely be there for any gig they do in London in the future. Wicked show. Thanks guys.

Band three, Foundation. I liked the floppy haired vocalist, Tomas, very charismatic. The band had a heavy, hardcore kind of greatness cranking out of those amps. Absolutely loved these guys and so did the rest of the crowd by the looks of things. They kept the pressure on throughout the set, whipping us all into a punky, harcore frenzy. Again, one to revisit. Loved it. I particularly liked the fact that they were so blown away to be on tour in Europe that they told us all about their tourist outing to Big Ben. It was nice to see a band so excited about what they're doing and these guys are doing a great job too.

Finally, Bracewar. They certainly didn't disappoint. Right from the start they blitzed us with their relentless barrage of hardcore. Everyone was getting into it. I made my way to the front to get into the mosh. I don't care how old you are, it's never something you shouldn't be doing. I waded in for a few seconds before someone kicked me in the thigh. This was quickly followed with a blow to the face. Oh awesome, all the kids are doing that retarded hardcore dance with the windmill arms and capoeira legs. I do not understand this bullshit. It is literally the most anti social crap I have ever seen. A girl then gets punched in the face right next to me by a helicopter armed idiot. After a brief physical reprimanding from me these two fuckwits stop what they're doing. I hope things go back to the way we did things in the old days. What's wrong with regular moshing and stage diving? You can still go crazy for the band and not punch and kick people like a dick. I know it sounds cliched but it was better back then when people respected each other in the pit. Besides, any twat that hits a girl in the face doing that in my opinion needs a good slap themselves. Apart from that brief incident it was a thoroughly enjoyable night. Good work fellas.
Boojay & Ryan of Bracewar


Friday, 21 January 2011

Crowbar - 20th January 2011

So what have I got to say about Crowbar then? I'd had a few beers so my memory is a bit sketchy but here goes... My mate Will and I handed our corner shop till receipts over at the door (Seriously when I picked the tickets up they gave me what looked just like those paper tally rolls you get from small shops that don't itemise anything on the receipt) and we were actually let in. I was a bit shocked. If you think about it though it's quite a good idea because I mean, who in their right mind is going to buy a ticket from a tout when it looks like that? Anyway, I digress, we made our way downstairs into the Camden Underworld. I really like this venue. It's small, it's dark and they let you stage dive. It reminds me of the old Marquee Club on Charing Cross Road that has now been turned into a really horrible Wetherspoons pub, a fucking tragedy.

The first band had just started and I haven't managed to find out what their name is yet but they were OK. It was weird because they were all wearing togas or full Centurion outfits. Will made a good point by saying that they weren't convincing anyone into thinking their music was any better by wearing those outfits. I think the only band that can get away with that shit is GWAR, who I reckon are totally awesome. I thought the music they were playing was really good, but the singer wasn't great, not shit, but not great. It was all that new, shouting, metalcore style, which is OK but not really my cup of tea. It kind of makes me get a sore throat in sympathy for those singers. Some people could argue the same for death metal vocals but I think that's different, and besides that's a whole different discussion. They did play a song that sounded just like Raining Blood by Slayer. Will and I sang along to it accordingly.

Next up, Shaped By Fate. I love these guys. I saw them twice last year and every time they gave their all to the performance. Paul Fortescue is a really charismatic frontman. His sneering aggression, wiry tattooed body and endless energy make him right up there with some of the best I've seen. The rest of the band aren't to be sniffed at performance-wise either. Luke, Richey and Lee leap all over the place. It's a wonder that they don't smash into each other or fall off the stage from time to time. A good solid performance overall from these boys. I look forward to seeing them again next time they visit London. I'm actually listening to their album, "The Unbeliever" as I write this. Heavy.

Finally, Crowbar. Awesome, seriously. I've never seen them before, but I promise I will see them again if that show was anything to go by. I was surprised that Kirk was so small though. For some reason I had always imagined him to be some kind of giant. I don't know why. That he certainly isn't, he's tiny. A tiny guy with a massive voice. The crowd were loving it but were a bit tamer than what I'm usually used to. I guess the slow, thundering music sort of keeps people trance-like, rhythmically headbanging than frantically crowd surfing and stage diving. So none of that carrying on for me last night. I was seriously tempted though. The set seemed to fly by in a flash, like they always do when you're enjoying it so much. Nice work Crowbar.

Boojay w/ Luke & Richey from Shaped By Fate
Overall a great night and a brilliant start to 2011. Something a bit mellower for you next time... Little Caesar and The Treatment.


Friday, 14 January 2011

Mustaine - A Life In Metal

I have always loved Megadeth. I think they are a far superior band to Metallica*. I admire Dave Mustaine, there is no disputing that he is an incredibly talented musician and song writer. I suppose because of this I have always thought of Dave as a cool guy, regardless of what some Metallica fans would say about him. So with great anticipation I bought a signed copy of this book the day it came out. I read it in two days and I enjoyed the read. It's constructed in an easy-to-read style which is good for absorbing all the information. I don't want to spoil the book for anyone so I won't go into too much detail...

This book, as you would expect from an autobiography, is basically Dave's telling of his side of events and feelings surrounding the band that most Megadeth fans already know, with a mere smattering of his life outside of Megadeth. The beginning covers his time with Metallica, and it does make me hate James Hetfield and Lars Ulrich more than I already do, which I thought was impossible. The middle section chronicles Megadeth and their rise against the odds through drug addiction, numerous line up changes and Dave's relationships with those band members. It concludes with his religious transformation after rehab and recovering from his arm injury. Throughout the book there are some entertaining moments in his life that actually made me chuckle out loud.

In a nutshell this book is OK. The ending is very disappointing and has you finish thinking that Dave is a total weirdo, but if you ignore the last couple of chapters it was worth it. He does whine a bit and tries to make you feel sorry for him, which can be annoying, and I suppose it did make me think a little less about him overall but I'm still glad I read it. I think that any true Megadeth fan should read this book, but don't expect to learn too much.


* This is not to say that I hate Metallica the band. In fact, up until the Black Album I thought Metallica were one of the greatest bands ever. However, they have failed to deliver anything of substance since then in my opinion. St Anger is possibly one of the worst albums I have ever heard. Compared to Megadeth's progression they pale in comparison.

Tuesday, 11 January 2011

The Heavy Metal Muppets

We are Trunks and Boojay, two guys from London who have loved metal since the 80's. We have had a bit of a revisit to the early 90's in terms of gigs in 2010. So we thought that it now being the start of 2011 and our schedule hasn't calmed down (in fact seems to have increased) that we would share our thoughts and experiences of something we love so much.

So in summary 2010 went like this... Municipal Waste, Overkill, Obituary, Born From Pain, Bolt Thrower, Trigger the Bloodshed, Gama Bomb, Sepultura, Agnostic Front, Zodiac Mindwarp, Sick of it All, DevilDriver, Annihilator, Soulfly, Exodus, Motorhead and Municipal Waste (again). We've added a few photos and videos but will be much more thorough in 2011.

We feel that now is a very special time for metal fans. Bands we used to watch in the 90's in much bigger venues are playing small places like the O2 in Islington or The Purple Turtle in Camden. It's an unbelievable privilege to watch (and meet!) the likes of Exodus, Overkill, Sepultura and Obituary in these kinds of venues. Keep it coming and we'll be there!

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