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/

Tuesday, 8 March 2011

Killfest - Overkill - 3rd March 2011

Trunks' Version:

It's no exaggeration to say the Metal Muppets were a little excited about this gig.  Having seen Overkill last year at the O2 Islington we obviously couldn't wait to repeat that experience, only this time we were going to take a visit to the pit. I have to mention the last time we saw Overkill we screwed up big time. We missed the release of Ironbound so we stood there like a couple of real metal muppets trying to figure out what album these songs were off. Not Cool.

Now I personally like a few drinks before a gig if I can (which is most times), it's nice to get a few cheap beers in, crank up the excitement and check out the mosh pit competition before the doors open for business. In this case however the doors were open at 5.30pm and we finish work at that time so I felt a bit rushed, but so what right, I was rushing to see Overkill. We get to the venue and as queues go this is a short one so we're in quickly pick up our tickets and I put my bag in the cloakroom. Matt heads upstairs to buy a "T", Destruction I think and leaves me waiting for a couple minutes while he puts his bag in too. You do meet some nutters at these gigs and for some reason the Germans love Overkill so I expected more nutters than usual. As I was waiting for Matt some German weirdo decides to engage me in conversation by enquiring if you can buy Hawkwind cd's in London...errrr yes, and ends the conversation by saying " I like Destruction but I fucking love Hawkwind" which is very funny in a camp German accent, try it.

Straight on the booze to build up the confidence for the pit or should I say dull the pain of being battered from all sides, stepped on, pushed, shoved etc. It's like being in a car crash only you can't hold your breath for 2 hrs so you have to catch a breath between collisions or lean on the front for a couple of minutes before you dive back in. But we weren't ready for that just yet, I'd only downed a couple of pints so far and we needed more. Heathen were playing during our booze intake and quite frankly I'm not a massive fan of these guys but to be fair to them a lot of people at the gig seemed to be. There something not right about the look of heathen, you close your eyes and if you block out the shite lyrics  they sound good, then you open your eyes and you see a bald dwarf singing and a guy who looks like Jonny Vegas on the drums. It just was ok for me.

We're into 4 or 5 pints by now and Destruction hit the stage looking all dark and menacing which is cool but I wanted to get some decent video of them and the lighting really didn't help with that so we started to mosh. This is where I'm a bit hazy about Destruction's performance as I'm new to their music and to be honest I was having far too much fun in the pit to care who was playing. I can say they play heavy as the hell they came from and seemed to be a great live band. We will be looking out for Destruction when they return to the UK.

The Metal Muppets are very tired at this point and need some more booze which is cool because my arms hurt from having to defend myself. There is no advantage to being average height at these gigs as I keep telling Matt but at least he got a good beating himself this time, those Germans may be fruitcakes but they're bloody tall. We go and stand next to a really fat girl in a tight red dress. She looks like she's turned up to the wrong venue and brought along her luggage for a laugh....very odd.

Overkill hit the stage and you can sense things are going to get messy. We've been used to a younger teenage crowed who don't seem to mosh with the attitude of these grown men around us. They're big and they hit hard. Overkill put on a performance that didn't disappoint. Bobby Blitz is a real metal legend and he commanded the stage in a way that the other bands that night couldn't come close to matching. Song after song coming at you expertly building the excitement and mosh frenzy, it's a war in here and we've made some allies who look out for each other diving in to pick you up or pushing you a little less than others. I absolutely love Bobby's voice as he pumps out Ironbound and how tight the band are supporting him driving the song on. What an awesome night.

Boojay's Version:

Finally! A gig we were watching in London that wasn't at The Underworld, this was at the O2 Islington Academy in London. Having said, that The Underworld is a great venue, and I don't mean to knock it, it's just nice to have a change sometimes. The doors opened at 5.00pm which is earlier than usual. Trunks and I had to come from work so didn't make it in until about 6.15pm and missed After All unfortuntely. I'm sure it's because there were four bands of such calibre that they had to have the early start to give them all enough time to play, too early for a lot of us though. As soon as we walked in we noticed the German contingent. Nutty German thrashers, excellent! Trunks had an interesting conversation with a German guy who was trying to find the best place in London to buy Hawkwind CD's. He recommended the internet...

After getting the beers in we settled in to watch Heathen. Heathen are OK on record and now I can confirm, live. I've always thought a bit that they're a kind of cheesy mixture between Iron Maiden and Metallica. They certainly came across like that on stage too. Don't get me wrong, the performance was solid and it's clear that they have more than enough experience to hold their own on a stage with a line up as big as this. It's just a little bit chessy for our tastes. The Germans, on the other hand, were going crazy for these guys.

So by now we had our beer jackets on and were fired up for Destruction. These guys just look like they have been spat up from the bowels of hell. Schmier is evil incarnate. The music was so brutal, as was the pit. This show had already gone barmier than I had seen in a long time and Overkill weren't due on for ages. The whole set was a relentless barrage of remorseless German thrash and we loved every moment of it. I have never seen Destruction before but love their records. They translate perfectly live and I felt like I had run about ten miles by the time they had finished.

After a quick couple of beers we were absolutely chomping at the bit to see Overkill. I can't emphasise enough how astonishingly accomplished Overkill are as a band. Their stage presence is spectacular, particularly Bobby Blitz. We saw them at the same venue at around the same time in 2010 and were startled at their brilliance then. This time, if you can believe it, it was even better. The crowd went absolutely bonkers for them. The pit spread almost half way down the venue. The moshing and crowd surfing was unyielding. However, despite the savageness of the dance floor, it was actually pretty friendly. All the unwritten rules were obeyed and consequently everyone had a good time. No doubt Bobby and the boys are used to seeing this sort of frenzy but I have a feeling that Bobby felt an extra dose of pride and as a result honoured us all with the stage dive at the end of "Fuck You". I honestly can't remember a gig that I have enjoyed so much, ever. Every time I see Overkill it gets better. If you want to know what thrash is all about (and I use the following for illustration purposes) then fuck Metallica, fuck Anthrax, go and see Overkill, then it will all become clear. Top-notch.

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