By: Andy Little
The Underworld, Camden, London | September 11, 2016
An alternative Sunday night drama at Camden’s Underworld sees a feast of a sludge line-up. Originally set for June the re-scheduled tour, and this London date, still has the original supporting cast. And over the course of the evening all bands clearly demonstrate their enjoyment in partaking in tonight’s activities with boundless energy and battle ready prowess.
Hastings trio Wizard Fight kicks off proceedings to set the tone for the rest of the evening. Boasting a recent line-up change with a new bassist (vocalist/guitarist Luke later informs me) has delayed the time schedule of the making of the originally planned new album. However, their raging storm of all things sludge isn’t impeded by it, nice and tight, with shirtless drummer Dan pounding his kit with immense gusto and joy. Tonight clearly shows the embedding in process is marching on in the right direction.
New Heavy Sounds Records Hampshire representatives Limb are up next. Coming on to a considerable darkened stage with only two single lights, which remain in fixed positions throughout their 30 minutes set, plus constant blasts of dry ice across the stage, creates a visual difference and atmosphere. It takes a slight adjusting to, but it works. Blitzed with a storm of controlled feedback in-between songs they unleash their fuzzy, riffy, beefed up heavy sludgy grooves to deliver a fantastic set. Containing tracks from their strong Terminal album, highlights include the swampy sludge groover ‘Dawn Raiders’ and a fully charged metal makeover of Johnny Cash’s ‘Down By The Banks.’
A home game for Gurt sees them take the stage and proceed with, if it’s possible, the heaviest set of the evening. Frontman Gareth Kelly, in equal measure a roaring savage squeal and growl, prowls the stage in a commanding presence and is clearly having a blast. Highlight is the little ditty about monotonous reviewers, ‘Round and Around’, we/I go, which got my gig buddies chuckling with glancing looks in my direction. Gurt’s weighty noisy sludge gets the punters all revved up, ready in the mood, for the main event.
By the time Canada’s Dopethrone appear my ears were happily bleeding, all senses crushed by sheer brutal musical power, it is always going to be difficult for the last band to sound refreshingly heavy, as in all honesty, I was pretty much sludged out. However, the band and the crowd are truly up for it and enjoy their slightly crusty punk edged sludge. The airing of the impressive new track ‘Shot Down’ from their current EP stood out to prove their creative fire is still burning. Vince’s comments on its time to end music’s fascination with the destructive forces of heroin is spot on. But overall the band play with a glad to be here vibe to go on and play well past the curfew to round up a pleasing evening of brutal sludge riffs and knock-out punches.