There’s this cantankerous and peevish question screaming at the back of your head and you really don’t know why it is there relentlessly shrieking. It goes something like how do you keep listening to fucking doom, little lad, there’s more in this vast pale blue dot for you to find out, to miserably shake your immobile hips to it, to drink yourself out with this sexy Aussie who has just smiled at you on the grocery store while you’re just facing the ultimate, absolute life-changing, almost deadly, inquiry: how can one differentiate a courgette from a cucumber?
Yeah, mate, everyone question themselves pretty constantly. That’s the big joke conscious put on us. What will you do? Jump off the 15th floor because your marriage didn’t work out as you initially expected or because you’re fed up with stacking pants as a daily job with no benefits? Some do it, that’s an option, others just drive smoothly in this thing called life until the ripper dials their phone number. And then there’s this bunch of creeps, where I’m already an honorary member with a 28-year badge, who have to rely on music for the sake of mental firmness. That is the reason, dear conscious, why blabbering EDM or the whole feel-the-reggae-vibe-kiss-your-cunty-neighbor don’t cut it for me. I need NOISE, man, NOISE. Whether it is a pasty folk, as white as the Japanese flag, sitting behind a laptop cranking some power electronics or, you know, riffs. Y’all know that Stallone clip where he tells his son tokeep moving forward? I only get this type of advice by listening to Eyehategod, Khanate, Clandestine Blaze or Nihilistic Assault Group. Laugh what you want, we all have to forge our own Stallones.
That is, pound per pound, why I’ve switched a balmy and cozy weekend at my flat in Edinburgh for a turbulent 3-day in London. I needed my fix, DesertFest sold it for a reasonable good price, fair deal, let’s go. My first pit stop was in Finchley Road, where an old friend of mine lives – a Samoan weed dealer whom I met some five years ago. Reeking of haze, his tiny apartment works like my mother’s womb for someone who’s not particularly fond of London raucous environment, carrying tourists in its armpits and showing off its bladder packed with underground lines and nauseating billboards. I left with four grams of strawberry cough and took the overground to Camden only to meet Dopethrone an hour later. Hello, there, I’m high as an Airbus A380 flying to Kingston and you? Come again? Oh, good, nice to meet you.
Now, that Underworld was summer-afternoon-tube-tunnel warm, a thing that sometimes does not match quite well a drug-withered mouth. Beer after beer, sweat begins to emerge, then this manageable anxiety pumps on your chest, you’re all alone, no friends, home is well far behind and the most familiar thing that you have to rely on are these born-to-lose-dreadlocked-Canadians with their stoned riffs and drunk amplifiers. Everything moves slowly,slooowly. It’s as if you found out a reverse equivalent of a rollercoaster. The speed is none, but the adrenaline kicks well in. I’m one step away from falling into oblivion, the feedback dizziness practically makes me fall forward on my face, but somehow I manage to hang on. Those guitars can scream, mate. They purge you. It’s the “Scum Fuck Blues”. Vincent tells a joke while I’m trying to reach for another beer, I didn’t quite hear it but I smile like I’m the newest heir of the Hilton’s estate.
Agrimonia comes next, same room. You wish good crust gigs were more common, but they’re not, so you better grip yourself to those which pop from out of nowhere. With all fairness, I never expected to see a band such as Agrimonia play DesertFert but thank god they did it. Their music is fucking beautiful, don’t tell me it’s not, ‘cause it is. My former smile got replaced with a dislodged I’m about to cry, I have to quit my job next Monday if another one of these gloomy riffs hit me, what have I done with my life? Everything is now in perspective, including your will to stay afloat, as those “Rites Of Separation” hymns crawl out as primal angels of death. The Swedish are much more than Tragedy’s offspring and you feel it in your stomach. Mouth gets withered once again, hands on your face, eyes closed, you gulp, shit, am I still in London? Where’s the merch table? I’m weeping as I step into the Electric Ballroom forFloor.
Floor are funny folks, they have these Miami vice roundabouts and, as their long-ass-time follower, I finally got the chance to see Stevenot playing in Torche, ha! It was not mind-boggling per se, nor the crowd was exhilarated, but it worked out as a nice dessert wine after all those feels courtesy of Agrimonia. Another joint rolled, “Scimitar” ground leveling shit on the background, and on my fucking way to Black Cobra, which I firstly thought were already dead or something until I saw them on the bill. I tell you something, I’m a bit resented since April 2010, a period where I was slobbering myself to see them opening in Glasgow for Eyehategod. They cancelled. As idiotic as I am, I took it personally, so I flew back toThe Underworld with unfinished business and a red-eyed menace. But, my dear, you can’t mess with those two. What a bacchanalian, what a black and white Mardi Gras darting riffs back and forth asgigantones y cabezudos dancing on smoky lava, I threw my jacket off and drilled into the crowd for what was my Friday misé-en-scene. As people roamed outside through the streets of London as aimless cattle, there I was handling my sludge affairs like a one-man-strawberry-smelling army, eyes shut and arms ecstatically moving. I ended up losing my lighter.
As much I as enjoy Minsk, I was in need of a good break. Not only to buy another damn lighter, but to eat. And to grab as much hatred for mankind as I could, apathetically watching hordes of living human corpses packing Camden up, while eating a tuna sandwich from afar. You got it, Noothgrush were in town and the anxiousness was too much for me to cope with. I tant two shots of scotch before heading to Underworld and there they were, what the fuck, Noothgrush are still real, are still a thing. I slowly walk in, livid, history was in the making, the truth is about to emerge as those unsleeved amps are tuning themselves for a nihilistic fervor of slowness. Can you dig it? Can you feel it? You can’t, you needed to be there so that you could pour onto your swinish mouth the clinical artistry of scorn. It was like dying a million times, jaw drops, we’re being ushered into our cynical tombstones of nothing, sir, can you hear me sir?, sir? *TV STATIC NOISE*