Napalm Death at Manchester RebellionSupport: Brujeria| Power Trip | Lock Up
May 11, 2017 at Manchester Rebellion
Promoter: CMH Live
A full 25 years after the original ‘Campaign for Musical Destruction’ journeyed around Europe, grindcore pioneers Napalm Death set out again and resurrected the idea with one of the strongest touring packages currently doing the rounds. A sold out show in Manchester’s Rebellion club was the perfect venue for the chaos to unfold.
First up tonight were Lock Up, the occasional group comprising Shane Embury (playing the first of three sets tonight), ex Cradle of Filth / Dimmu Borgir (amongst many others) drummer Nicholas Barker, Criminal guitarist Anton Reisenegger and former Brutal Truth vocalist Kevin Sharp. With a collection of musicians of that calibre, you should know what to expect, full on grinding noise with Sharp prowling the stage barefoot and decked in the obligatory cowboy hat, he added his famous guttural growls to a whirlwind of noise created around him. His performance even more impressive due to him suffering a “burning face” after an incident with some hot sauce before the show. It’s a shame that because of their other commitments, that we don’t see more of Lock Up, as this was one of the best opening acts I’ve ever seen. A fantastic start to the show.
Power Trip were up next, and were the odd one out tonight, not only being thrash rather than the more extreme noise the other bands were peddling, they were also the only band not to feature Shane Embury on bass. They didn’t seem fazed at all featuring amongst such luminaries and took their chance of appearing in front of a slightly different crowd from their usual shows. They instead used that status to their advantage and set about proving themselves. They introduced themselves as being from Texas “but get it right” said frontman Riley Gale “we didn’t vote for Trump…but he should definitely come to Dallas, we have a special welcome for presidents”. They may only have had half an hour, but they played an absolute stormer with ‘Executioners Tax’ and ‘Manifest Decimation’ particular highlights.
Main support on this tour are Brujeria and, like many in the crowd, it was my first opportunity to see them live. Mr Embury returned (in his guise as Hongo) and the rest of the band hidden behind bandanas. I think its cool to see that they have stuck with this even though the secretive nature of the bands members was long since exposed to the world. Vocalist Juan Brujo and Pinche Peach dominated the space, leaning over the crowd who were pushed up right to the front of the stage. It was also cool that despite the language barrier, there were still a fair amount of people singing along to some off the tracks. A set list culled from 25-years’ worth of music shows that despite the front and gimmick that the band had, they have some seriously good tunes at their disposal. As well as the machetes and songs about drugs and murder, there was also some lighter moments that showed a great sense of humour without taking away from the harshness of the songs. Brujo and Peach did some synchronised dancing (and had a little routine for their closing track, their weed-themed version of the ‘Macarena’), and took someone out of the crowd to hold up the Si / No cards for some crowd participation during ‘Consejo Narcos’ for everyone to shout along to. Three top bands so far, and still the headliners to come.
Finally, it was time for Napalm Death. The band appeared on a dark stage with vocalist Barney Greenway slowly swaying and chanting as if in a trance swaying back and forth. Suddenly the band kicked in and an hour of frenetic grindcore duly began. The crowd were just as busy as the music, with the long wait for some headline shows since Apex Predator…Easy Meat finally over. Once a band like Napalm death start, there is no holding back, and you are subjected to a relentless, brutal noise, with a few brief chats to explain what some of the songs are about.
Really difficult to pick highlights as it was all so full on and they are almost peerless amongst their contemporaries as a live band. The moments that stood out for me personally were ‘Dear Slum Landlord…’ where the pace slowed temporarily, a rare outing for ‘Twist The Knife (Slowly)’ from the often forgotten Fear, Emptiness, Despair record, or the volley of songs from their classic debut Scum in quick succession with ‘Scum’, ‘The Kill’ and ‘You Suffer’ all getting great responses. It all sounds great with the band as tight and intense as ever. With a new album promised next year, and a storming Glastonbury show after this tour finished, it’s business as usual for one of the most hard-working and consistent bands around.
Included: Necropolis Transparent – Feeding on the Opiate – Detestation – Blood and Emptiness – Void – Slaughterous Ways – After Life In Purgatory
Soul Sacrifice – Executioners Tax – Conditioned to Death – Heretic’s Fork – Nightmare Logic – The Hammer of Doubt – Firing Squad – Manifest Decimation – Crossbreaker
Brujerizmo – Colas De Rata – La Migra (Cruza La Frontera II) – Hechando Chingasos (Grenudo Locos II) – Viva Preseidente Trump! – Seis Seis Seis – Angel De La Frontera – Satongo – Desperado – Anti-Castro – Marcha De Odio – Revolucion – Consejos Narcos – El Desmadre – Matando Gueros – Marijuana
Evolved as One – It’s a M.A.N.S World! – Necessary Evil – Smash A Single Digit – Stunt Your Growth – When All Is Said and Done – Stubborn Stains – Scum – The Kill – Deceiver – You Suffer – From Enslavement to Obliteration – The Code Is Red…Long Live the Code – Twist The Knife (Slowly) – Dear Slum Landlord… – Christening of the Blind – Suffer The Children – If the Truth Be Known – Face Down In The Dirt – Hate, Fear and Power – Nazi Punks Fuck Off – Advertising / Copulating Snakes