Tuesday, 26 October 2010

GRAVE DESECRATOR, Manchester, UK [2010.10.24]

(This video clip ends just as the real action starts... but you get the idea!)

Date: Sunday 24 October 2010
Venue: Satan's Hollow, Manchester, UK
Promoter: Clanglestrim Produckshins

WORDS: I went along to an all-day metal show last Sunday, called DEADEVIL FEST, and held at Satan's Hollow venue, a high class metal dungeon in downtown Manchester, England. I didn't know what to expect from the line-up, mainly down to the fact that a lot of the bands are still very much what you might class as in the "up and coming" category (no offense intended by that label there guys). Also take into account that I am a lazy son-of-a-bitch and never did my homework on the line-up of acts.

The day started with 2 death metal bands (PARASITIZED and DECREPID), so I guessed that was going to be the trend throughout the day ("This next song is called... *undecypherable death grunt*") but then the 3rd band hit the stage, THE GODS OF HELLFIRE, and they were more of a heavy Crowbar style sound, so that was my "death metal only fest" idea blown out of the water.

There was also a drone band, CLOACA, who went down very well with the crowd (which pleasantly surprised me - the positive crowd reaction I mean! I expected people to be like "What the fuck is this slow shit??") and then another act (SEREGON) who played Sacred Reich style thrash.

Finally GRAVE DESECRATOR set up and started their set, blinding filthy Brazilian death/black metal. I was in love from the very first chords of their show.

I have a busy work schedule today (rent is due, car needs fixing, etc) so I don't have too long to play about with all of the photos that I took throughout the day (sorry to anyone who I have promised pics too, they'll be with you soon!). I'm going to be coming back to this review and adding extra stuff later this week, so hold tight! The whole day was a definite "2 claws up!", I wasn't sure what to expect (well, except for G.D. obviously!) but I am pleased to report that this was another fucking great outing for THEE CLAW!

For now, take a moment ot bask in the glory of some GRAVE DESECRATOR photos. You should have been there, lads!!

Monday, 25 October 2010

VI (Or, Right Place, Right Time, Wrong Speed)

Six years ago, John Robert Parker Ravenscroft passed away whilst on holiday in Peru, shortly after an expidition to Machu Piccu.
It's hard to measure the impact of the former radio presenter without making it a personal story; for me, Peel was the elder brother or cool uncle I never had, listening to his show was like hanging out with said imaginary sibling and having the run of his record collection.
I used to sit next to the radio with a pen and pad, writing down bands and comitting them to memory in the pre internet days when finding new music meant dedication.
Aside to my personal story, Peel's impact on underground metal in the UK can never be underestimated.
Stories abound of the Peel family turning up en masse for gigs at The Mermaid in Birmingham to watch proto grind gigs from ENT and Napalm Death, without Peel's support, Scum would have probably never been released.
Intrigued by the nascent Grind/Death scene, over a twelve month period in 87/88 Peel invited the great and the good from the UK to record sessions for BBC Radio and he broadcast them on his show.
Later released on Strange Fruit as "Hardcore Holocaust", check out this track list:
Stupids - Heard It All Before
Stupids - Dog Log
Electro Hippies - Sheep
Electro Hippies - Chickens
Electro Hippies - Mother
Extreme Noise Terror - False Profit
Extreme Noise Terror - Another Nail In The Coffin
Extreme Noise Terror - Carry On Screaming
Extreme Noise Terror - Conned Through Life
Bolt Thrower - Attack In The Aftermath
Bolt Thrower - Psychological Warfare
Intense Degree - Skate Bored
Intense Degree - Intense Degree
Intense Degree - Day Dreams
Intense Degree - Bursting
Unseen Terror - Voice Your Opinion
Napalm Death - Moral Crusade
Napalm Death - M.A.D.
Napalm Death - Divine Death
Napalm Death - Control
Doctor And The Crippens - Pink Machine Gun
Doctor And The Crippens - The Garden Centre Murders
Doctor And The Crippens - Skin Tight
Doom - Exploitation
Doom - No Religion
Also recorded where the likes of Bolt Thrower et al, and Peel's attention hurtled the UK Hardcore bands to the front of the NME and into the nation's subconscious.
Without Peel, grindcore would have stayed so far underground that I probably wouldn't be talking about it now.

My favourite Peel moment happened a long time ago when I was in work, back before I was in charge and we used to listen to the radio when the boss had gone out.
Eternal numb-nut and MTV favourite Lisa I'anson was off air for the dinnertime show for some reason, and for some reason known only to the BBC bigwigs they brought in Peely who played, in the middle of the day, whatever he wanted.
After one song, he came out with the following gem, around 12.30pm on a Wednesday afternoon:

I’ve had several complaints today, all asking to bring back Lisa I’Anson. This next record is for you, Mr Simpson of Plymouth. It’s Bolt Thrower....

Sunday, 24 October 2010


N.M.E. - Unholy Death. A really unique and timeless, yet dated, album.  If you've not heard it, get it or die!

Con Clavi Con Dio

This week I have been listening quite a bit to the eagerly awaited debut full length by mysterious, secretive, Satanic Swedes Ghost, Opus Eponymous. After much spinning of their demo and the Elisabeth 7" from Iron Pegasus, hopes were high for this release.

Here we have the three songs from the demo and 7" re-recorded, plus new material.
Ghost seem to inhabit that strange ground between metal and occult rock, using similar mise en scene to The Devil's Blood, etherial organs, genuine feel of occultism and the distance from everyday lifecreated by the old sound favoured by these bands.
However, I feel that the demo and single had more of a warm, 70s feel to them whereas the album feels a bit more modern.  Gone is the Mercyful Fate-style promise of the demos and instead the band sound a bit more clinical and produced.

But that's just a small gripe.  What the cult have produced here stands apart from all other releases I've heard for a long time due to the complete Hammer horror style atmosphere that pervades the entire album.
Top notch, well worth the wait.


Roadburn is elated to announce that Birmingham’s seminal post-punk / industrial behemoths, Godflesh, will perform their seminal debut full-length album, 1989’s Streetcleaner, in its entirety at the 2011 Roadburn Festival, Thursday, April 14th at the 013 venue in Tilburg, Holland. Not only will founding members Justin Broadrick and Benny Green play Streetcleaner in full and in track order, they will be playing the Tiny Tears EP, which was conceived as part of the overall Street Cleaner vision, in full as well.
Roadburn Festival regards Godflesh as one of the biggest influences on the burgeoning doom, sludge and drone scenes, alongside their Birmingham forebears Black Sabbath and New York’s unyielding instigators of aural punishment, Swans. The artistic resonance of GodfleshStreetcleaner can be heard and felt throughout the entire festival and in many of the bands invited to perform. Its ability to create an all-encompassing yet devastatingly claustrophobic vision from minimalist means, it treated guitar textures that would later be siphoned off into Justin and Benny’s respective drone projects, Final and Vitriol, and its willingness to meet the abyss head-on are all elements whose fumes have pervaded Roadburn over many years.
It is a massive understatement to say that we’re beyond thrilled about having Godflesh headlining the Thursday Roadburn date with such a highly anticipated performance. We are still pinching ourselves that the fever dream of having such a coup for Roadburn has become a reality – it’s an absolute honour for us, and a testament to a band whose  impact influence has spread so far, wide and deep.

Thursday, 21 October 2010

Bruce Bruce, International Football Pilot

Taken from the BBC News website:
Heavy metal legend Bruce Dickinson is flying the Liverpool squad to Naples ahead of the club's Europa League clash with Italian side Napoli.

The Iron Maiden frontman, 52, who holds a commercial pilot's licence, will captain the Astraeus Airlines plane from Liverpool John Lennon Airport.

Dickinson, despite admitting he had no allegiance to any football team, said he hoped he would bring the Reds luck.

Liverpool are due to play Napoli at 1800 BST on Thursday.

"I was originally supposed to be going to Iceland and flying down to Las Palmas and Tenerife, but this looked a lot more interesting so I'm flying the team down to Naples."

Dickinson, who joined Iron Maiden in 1981, said he was lucky his day job left him time to perform.

"People ask me, which do you enjoy more and I honestly can't say, but what I can say is that I am never, ever going to give up singing.

"That's been my life and fortunately I'm in a job where I can get the time off to do it.

"In fact, the airline that I work for, Astraeus, we designed an aeroplane for an Iron Maiden tour and flew it round the world, we've done it twice now.

"It's never been done before, bands have had private jets before, but no band until Maiden has even come up with the idea of taking all the equipment, and the road crew and the band on one aircraft.

"It's like the biggest tour bus in the world."

The flight was due to leave Liverpool at 1100 BST on 20 October 2010.

THEE CLAW says: UP THE IRONS! Bruce has done this before, taking football teams to games in Europe that is - He piloted the plane that flew the Rangers team to a European game one time in 2007. (And yes, you heard us, Bruce Bruce!)

Listening To

Amongst other things...

Tuesday, 19 October 2010

Jay-Jay Winter R.I.P.

Taken from the ASOMVEL Myspace page:

"It’s with heavy hearts that we announce that Jay-Jay Winter, bassist & singer with ASOMVEL has lost his life in a car accident. He was driving home on October 18th when en route he was forced off the road by another drivers incompetence. Jay later died in hospital from the injuries he sustained. Jay was a great man, he was one of the most honest, forthright and brutally truthful people you could ever hope to meet. With his razor sharp wit and frank opinions, he was loved and respected by all of his peers in the UK Metal community because of his strength of character. He was generous and helpful to a fault with people who deserved it, and sometimes even with people who didn’t deserve it. Such was his love of fair play and the underdog getting the upper hand. He was more than just a bandmate, he was also a family member and a true friend. We are all stunned by this turn of events and hope that you will all understand why all our forthcoming gigs are now cancelled. R.I.P. Jay Jay. Lenny Robinson & Ian Wright (ASOMVEL, October 18th 2010)."

Grind me down and suck my will - you ain't defeating me
I know that my time will come and then you'll surely see
That I can rise above it all and be who i want to be
To never fucking give into, a life of Drudgery

Earlier today I spoke to our friend Randy Reaper (from THE LAMP OF THOTH) about Jay Jay passing. R.R. had been a good friend of Jay Jay and had only recently been to ireland for a show together (THE LAMP and ASOMVEL played a few shows together, always blinding).
RR: Everytime you looked at Jay you saw the fire in his eyes, the beers, the gigs, the whiskey, the laughs that we shared, he was a great bloke with a heart of gold for those who were worth it. He might not be around anymore, but we'll carry on the fight and he'll never be forgotten.

The last time that we met Jay Jay was in September 2010 at a show in Wakefield, UK. The band played a great set, seemingly still getting tighter as a unit with each successive show. Later in the day Jay could be spotted around the venue, trademark wrap-around shades across his face, while he stood leaning against a post and watching the video playback of their set (The Snooty Fox venue always record each band's set and then show it again shortly afterwards... might be worth contacting the venue to enquire about getting a copy of it actually). He looked quite pleased with the video.

An example of Jay's on-stage humour: All the way through the ASOMVEL set Randy Reaper (he of THE LAMP OF THOTH) was holding up huge hand-written signs at the band with "TWAT", "BUMMER" and other expletives written on them. At one point in between songs he held up a sign facing towards the Snooty Fox's webcam (the event was being live-streamed on the internet) and Jay stopped for a second and shouted "That better not say TWAT!". Randy turned the sign round and Jay read it. "Oh Cunt, that's ok". They then went straight into the next song.

Towards the end of the night a couple of us found Lenny to ask if they had any ASOMVEL "merch" with them to sell (none has been layed out on the merchandise desk). Len looked at Jay Jay who was busy holding court with a few people outside the venue; Jay gave a serious smile and said something along the lines of "Come on then" and lead us around to his car to get some tshirts from the trunk. He could have easily told us to wait a while (or even to get lost!) but as was his nature, he sorted the situation out pretty quickly.

An utter gent.

Rest In Peace Jay Jay mate and thanks for the good times, THEE CLAW.
  • Monday, 18 October 2010

    Sunday, 17 October 2010

    Birthday Claws: DVoid

    Happy birthday to brother of the claw DESIGN VOID.

    Roll on April 2011!

    Tuesday, 12 October 2010

    Spinning Now:

    Words to follow; Early indications EXCELLENT!

    Friday, 8 October 2010


    When the wind cries out my name
    And time has come for me to die
    Then wrap me in my cape
    And lay my sword down at my side

    Then place me on a ship of Oak
    And let it drift with tide
    Let the flames purify my soul
    On its way to hall up high

    My life would have been very different without you mate.

    Time to add a bit more I suppose.
    Pek was a local legend; he was in Disattack before they were Carcass; he promoted so many gigs at Planet X and was then security guard at Quiggins for years.
    That's it in a nutshell, total crust warrior.
    I didn't know him that well; well enough to let onto and have a drink with, he was good friends with my friends.
    Like most people my age, my overwhelming memories of Pek are of trying to look at least seven years older when he walked past me at whatever gig we had managed to get into in Planet X in it's Hanover Street incarnation.
    It was funny the first time a mutual friend introduced me to him years later, they said "Here's Pek" and I didn't have to run off to the toilets.
    Anyway, enjoy some Disattack here and here, and drink some fucking scrumpy for the lad.
    (read the comments on the second blog post)

    Friday, 1 October 2010

    Now Listening To: GHOST

    Listening to my copy of the recent 7 inch record by GHOST. You not heard them yet? Check out their shit, it's unreal. It was announced a little while ago that they are playing at the 2011 Roadburn festival in Holland, so I'll be checking them out live there. I also read that they are due to play in London sometime soon (like in 3 weeks time from the date of this blog post) but it's unlikely that I'll be able to make it along to that. But you never know!

    GHOST will be releasing their debut album, "Opus Eponymous" in 2 weeks from now on October 18th 2010. I'm guessing that a lot of people won't read this blog post before the record is released (if ever!), so may I take this opportunity to recommend it to you highly and point you in the right direction to go and BUY a copy of it!

    Roll on RB11!