Saturday, 22 November 2008

Damnation 2008 (SJW)

SJW here, this is "live from the gig" update from this years Damnation Festival in Leeds. These things rarely work out, updating during the event I mean, but here goes anyway.

I dunno what this place is called yet, but it's a different venue than last year. Much bigger and much better. Kudos to thee promoters! 3 big stages, it's a good set up.


Here's who I watched at this year's event.

Welsh 3-piece, I caught 4 songs by these guys. We were a little late turning up for the event so Taint were already into their set when we first got into the venue and it took us a little while to find The Jagermeister Stage (AKA "The Main Stage"). Their song Drunk Marksman was particularly good.

Some guy just came onstage to announce that tonight performance would be recorded and released as a live album. This keeps happening to us. After a few rounds of "Damnation!" and "Onslaught!" the intro music ushered the band onstage to a rapture of drunken applause.
Whoa - Sy Keeler's vocals are amazing. That voice is peircing! It's just like on Power From Hell. Skum is stood here with me and he doesn't recognize all of the guys in the band... but they're a tight unit, you can't deny that.
Songs included Metal Forces, Planting Seeds Of Hate and Demoniac. Great set.

After some atmospheric intro music, avant-garde metallers Sigh started with a fury. These guys are from Japan and this is their 1st gig in the UK for 13 years. Man, what a display. The 2 vocalists, one guy and one chick, are sharing an almost constant barrage of the singing duties, only he (Mirai Kawashima) was doing the high parts and she (namely "Dr. Mikannibal") was a lower growl by comparison! There's hardly an 8-bar of music without one of them adding a touch more in the way of vocals. It's non stop!
Plus also the good lady doctor is wearing a tiny leather mini skirt and bikini top... I nearly forgot to mention that for a minute! There's lots of flesh on show up there right now. How could I miss out telling you guys about that one? The photographers down in the pit appear to be jockeying for position in order to get the best view up her skirt.

More about SIGH:
The guitarist (Shinichi Ishikawa) has the most awesome bowl-head haircut and is wearing a camo t-shirt for some reason, meanwhile Kawashima-San (male vocalist) is wearing some kind if 19th century style pall bearer costume get-up. It's strange how each band member is dressed for a different genre of music!
I have just noticed that our lovely lady vocalist, Dr Mikannibal, keeps having to fix her bra top in between every song. There's a guy in the crowd nearby to where I am stood who has shouted "Show us your teeets!" about 5 times now, like that's real funny to him or something. I dunno eh!
Also she's playing a saxophone as well, but you cannot hear it so well unfortunately. man, she's the real deal.
Sigh finish their set with a cover of Venom's Black Metal. At the same time that they are covering this black metal classic, Dr Mikannibal is holding what appears to be about a dozen red candles, which are lit, up in the air, directly above her chest and letting the hot wax drip down onto her bare chest! Whoa, what a gal!
SIGH all about the performance - it's awesome!

I've just ran straight across from Sigh's set to catch some of Benediction's set over on the Terrorizer Stage in the next room. Walked in just in time to see a crazy pit being fuelled by tremendously fast thrash! Another well designed room for a metal gig, the outside of the room is raised up while the centre is like a pit, literally. I only got here to see the last ten minutes of their set. Looks like Napalm Death are on in here next, so I am sticking around for that.

Sorry guys but no live review during Napalm... but it's kinda hard to blog from in a pit! That's right, I was one of the bald guys in the pit running about at the front of the Terrorizer stage watching everyone's favourite grind band from Brumingham.

Best gig of the day so far IMO. I knew all of the songs after all! Well 95 percent of them at least (they played a couple of new songs from an upcoming record).
One complaint from during this show - the on-stage bouncers were being rather heavy handed with anyone trying to stage dive during Napalm's set. I understand that these guys have ajob to do (I am a doorman in another line of work, in case you didn't already know), so I know that you have to be firm but also keep safety as a priority. Which is why I got very angry when I saw one bouncer react to a guy who was in mid-air, diving from the stage back into the crowd, he stopped the guy back grabbing him by the arm and pulling him back to the stage! That could have turned out to be a very nasty dislocation! Very unnecessary. And its not as if the band were put off by the stage diving.
Anyway, it wasn't that big a deal I guess.
Something I just learned: N.D. have been going 28 years this year. Imagine that! Speaking of old-school Napalm Death, next band up is CATHEDRAL...


This show was Cathedral's 1st gig in 2 years, or at least Lee Dorrian told us from on stage.
They played North Berwick Witch Trials! I love that song!
It seems that each band gets better as the day goes on at this festival.
Bravo Damnation!

Cathedral Setlist @ Damnation 2008:

Utopian Blaster
Enter The Worms
North Berwick Witch Trials
Cosmic Funeral
Carnival Bizarre
Open Mind Surgery (New!)
Cathedral Flames
Melencholy Emperor
Upon Azerel's Wings

Okay that's it, end of my "live review". Hope it isn't as bad and as jumbled as I kinda expected it to turn out!
It's been a great great day. Just a shame that the guys who put Damnation together this year weren't able to arrange THEE CLAW a photo pass to get our SLRs in for a few photos. Hell, we asked... I guess maybe we might get lucky in that department next time round. In any case, there's no complaints from our end of the deal - it's been a total ball of a day. Plaudits all round to the organisers, this was one of the best festivals we've been to this year (and we've been to a fair few so we're good judges as far as festival metal goes!).

Now I just hope my car is still in 1 piece and parked where I left in behind the fenton.....

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