There’s always a pleasant feeling of coming home when entering the festering grotto that is The Underworld in Camden. Most people who are into heavy music in London have probably lost count of the amount of gigs they’ve seen there, and have their own personal favourite space to stand during gigs. That said, it took a few refreshing sips to quell my anger at Transport Fucks London for turfing me off a bus and causing me to miss Wizard Fight’s debut London performance and all bar two minutes of The Lumberjack Feedback – the latter are not really to my liking at all, but check ‘em out if you like Pelican and faux-prog played by well-intentioned Frenchmen who’ve probably listened to a bit too much latter-day Neurosis.
The former’s demo is far more to my liking, no wheel has been reinvented, but the songs would have been a fantastic warm up for Frisco’s best power trio, which is more than can be said for Pet The Preacher, who play the sort of generic stoner rock that was being churned out by the bucketload in Sweden from the late Nineties onwards (they’re Danish, actually, but those who suffered the onslaught of boring stoner rock once will know exactly what I mean…) The audience lapped it up though, so maybe I’m just getting old.
Still, it made Acid King’s appearance all the sweeter! I hadn’t seen Frisco’s finest for a few years, not since they opened the Roadburn festival a few years back, and seeing Lori & co. destroy Camden was a sight to behold!
LOUD as hell, played with total conviction and skill, their distinctive brand of biker rock cut through the fug of thirty degree heat and Sunday-evening exhaustion. From the opening instrumental to the final drum beats of “Sunshine and Sorrow”, it really was a perfect show and there’s still no-one who can imitate Lori’s trademark monotone, powerful vocal style.
Riffs aplenty and Joey Osbourne’s drumming still utterly destroys! The place really erupted when “Two Wheel Nation” rang out through the Underworld’s PA, although “Electric Machine” seemed to be pretty high on the audience’s wantlist too! The new tracks they played sounded as good as anything they’ve ever done, and at three albums and a handful of EPs over their twenty year lifespan, it’s clear that Acid King are a band that prize quality over quantity.
Many bands try to emulate them, and misguidedly claim influence, but Acid King are still pretty much in a class of their own; even among the Man’s Ruin clique they stood out, and their unique identity shows no signs of wearing thin or being usurped by a younger band.
Scribed by: Saúl Do Caixão
Photos by: Gemma Shaw (www.gloomylightsphotography.co.uk)