by Ben Adsett
Last night this basement was full of the new breed of UK hardcore, tonight the most dangerous band in the world are due to take the stage and with hours to go the room is already warming up ready to go wild.
In a lengthy line up with early doors it is a surprise to see a room so full to witness the mayhem Dead Hands cause for their punchy set. Guitars and bass lines crass together to make an at times thunderous racket backed by the sound of a drum kit being beaten within an inch of its life but no matter how loud things get the vocals can always take over. The vocal ranges move from shrieks to death howls in the blink of an eye, delivered so tempestuously that the microphone seems like a formality. As this performance progresses the band’s intensity increases and by the climax the entire crowd leaves for a breather in a cooler room.
In Golden Death Mask Birmingham has unearthed a local talent that understand hardcore and its progression into posthardcore. This understanding creates a well-rounded sound with nods towards the past, present and future of this genre. They deliver a set that is brash, loud and intense which works perfectly with the bravado pouring from the stage. If one thing is certain at the Flapper tonight the locals are enjoying the local acts.
Possibly the forefront of the reinvigorated B-Town scene are Youth Man and they have started a set that feels important in their development. The fact they have filled a room to the point that at least fifty are stood at the back unable to see more than an occasion glimpse of the top of a head, shows the importance of what we the audience are watching or at least creates the feeling of importance. These three are absolutely tearing through a very strong back catalogue and the audience are loving every minute. The problem is this is a set of such variety there is a feeling of wonder combining with the over spilling of excitement. Finally as the set comes to a close, the audience erupt into a sea of flailing limbs and singalongs. As the crowds intensity grows, Youth Man follow suit and the final moments of this set are a blur; they are loud, they are intense and most importantly they are utterly mesmerising.
A the dust settles after the local support act may have just upstaged one of the biggest hardcore bands on the planet, the secret headliner flies onto the stage. As a DJ drops the beat Asteroid Boys reveal themselves to a mixed audience some are surprised and some are in the know. The one thing the audience do have in common is that they are all going absolutely wild, the pit is in the air as often as it is on solid ground. With the addition of Sonny Double One – a late replacement – the solid gold set list has an extra factor. Welsh hip hop is rarely more than a joke, in Asteroid Boys they have found the needle in the haystack; poignant lyrics, smart humour and references to millennial life. It seems like almost as soon as they have taken the stage they are leaving a sweaty mess of an audience behind so the main event can begin.
Trash Talk explode into the room and instantly create hysteria and movement, there is a serious amount of contagious energy within these chaps from Sacramento, California and the room heats up before the first sharp burst of songs. These bursts are so sharp, so heavy, so venomous and most noticeably absolutely relentless. Within the opening fifteen minutes there must have been a dozen songs and finally a much needed breather. Not a long breather, Lee Speilman addresses his public and in a brash almost cold fashion asks for more from the front. He asks for flying limbs, stage dives and a general sense of recklessness. Before his microphone comes close to his lips in the next song the venue erupts into further chaos.
The only moment the crowd are still is on Speilman’s command ‘Hash Wednesday’ a track where the doom/drone rock riff is so deep the audience can feel it in the pits of their stomach. Pints become frothy as the combo of deep bass and over driven guitar create an uncomfortable wall of noise which is absolutely destroyed with a single drumbeat into the next short sharp shock of a song. As the set comes to a close the maniacal LS is on top of the crowd and there is barley a food between his face and the celling, unsurprisingly the most dangerous band in the world are unmoved by the potential to lose some teeth.
Much as this show was wild and Trash Talk do create chaos and leave a path of destruction behind them in every venue, this show was not tinged with the same danger as others I have seen. Are Trash Talk growing up or have I just become immune to the chaos?