Moho Live, Manchester 06/04/10
The ceiling sweated. It dripped onto the heaving flesh mass below – a living organism made out of a hundred rabid NOLA sludge fans. Eyehategod were playing and the people couldn’t handle the euphoria. Fists pummelled the air and large men flew off the stage. Let’s forget the support (Totimoshi), they never stood a chance. Sorry. At an ordinary gig, they would’ve been interesting. When EHG took the stage at 9.30 we all focussed on the here and now. Jimmy Bower, Brian Patton and Joey LaCaze were grinning like gibbons and shaking hands and touching knuckles. LaCaze even handed a pill out to some guy on the front row, who promptly swallowed it. Gary Mader was slowly opening a beer. Mike Williams was a little less genial – more unpredictable and twisted than his jovial band buddies. I hate to admit how cool they are, it makes me feel like a fawning fan. But I am.
The band were relaxed and chatty, joking with one another and engaging the baying crowd for quite some time. Some twat next to me was even shouting ‘get on with it’. Maybe he was being really funny. Or maybe he was just a twat. Then we all got a head full of feedback for what seemed like aeons – it was fucking beautiful man. Bower was arched low in front of the amp and Joey LaCaze was poised to whack the cymbal and bass drum. The masses were wildly ecstatic at this point; in fact they were fucking throbbing like hot gristle.
Then bang! Suicide bomber with nuclear back-pack. Big fuck-off riff from Patton – here we go! The opening number was ‘Blank’. Place went frickin’ apeshit. The ‘hits’ followed – ’30$ Bag’, ‘Jackass In The Will Of God’, ‘Pigs’, ‘Take As Needed For Pain’, ‘Depress’ and so on. You know them all very well dontcha? Like all the best bands, Eyehategod come over like distorted cartoon characters; larger than life (but still as real as me and you) – veterans of a thousand hard won nights in sweaty clubs like this one. Each member of the band exuded a self-assured personality that was obviously nurtured from rightfully basking in reverence for over two decades. I love the fact that they want to engage with the crowd; so many bands of this stature have this fucking arrogant attitude that dictates they remain distanced from their fans.
Credit to Moho Live (first time I’d been here) – the sound was perfect: big clear crunchy guitars and everything mixed so very well. Well, what else can I say in furtherance of this ripping night? Eyehategod are Black Sabbath and Black Flag plus a whole shiteload of hardcore bands as well, and let’s not forget that weed soaked southern blues thang going on too. They practically gave birth to sludge as we know it captain. We all know they are living legends, but it’s good to know they can still deliver too. There is no bullshit here. This is a way of life. They played for 80 minutes, and then they were done. Gig of the year and it’s only just April.
Scribed by: Adam Stone
Photos by: Lee Edwards