There must be something in the air at the moment as some of my favourite bands from way back are reforming and heading out on the road again and boy, am I one happy camper!
Corrosion Of Conformity come very high up on my list of these bands. Having seen them nearly two decades ago and loved the pants off them then, I was a tad excited to find that they were playing a seriously intimate and totally sold out gig at the Underworld in Camden and wild horses couldn't have dragged me kicking and screaming out of this one.
With the line up now stripped back down to the original members, Reed Mullin, Woody Weatherman and Mike Dean are, after a fairly long and illustrious list of people coming and going over the years, back together, blisteringly brutal and better than ever and they look like they're loving every second of their new found playtime.
Kicking off through the intro into the doom laden 'Animosity', they start as brash and aggressive as they intend to continue, blitzing through the punk Metal mayhem of 'Loss For Words' and 'Mad World' without pausing for breath. Sod any conversation, this time the boys are going to let their music do the talking!
By the time we hit the bludgeoning 'Your Tomorrow' the crowd are leaping around like loons, back to some big time, old school bone crunching moshing down the front and leaping off the stage like lemmings. There would be some bruised and battered bodies in the morning and I bet not one of them cared a jot!
Apart from the one guy who stage dived and managed to miss everyone below him, which considering how packed the place was, was a feat in itself. Muppet.
On we plunge through 'Doom' into the groovy riff riddled monster 'Money Changers' with Mike Dean helping one of the more persistent stage divers off with a well needed boot up the ass.
Serving up an assortment of new and old tracks in the set is going down a storm, Mullin and Dean seamlessly swapping lead vocals throughout. They were virtually impossible to classify when they first started up and this is still very much the case, blending a concoction of doom, Metal, speed, hardcore and punk, they're one of the few true crossover alternative Metal bands and as tight as a high jumper's hamstring to boot.
The fact that these three guys are grinning like the proverbial and are having so much fun playing together again is totally infectious, and damn, they prove beyond doubt that a three piece can make enough noise to shake any foundations!
Hammering his kit like his life depended on it, Reed Mullin pounds into 'Prayer', a wild eyed Dean and flailing haired Woody Weatherman mercilessly wringing every last drop of sound out of bass and guitar in 'Intervention' and 'Kiss Of Death'. We have a small and rather amusing interlude with a bit of confusion (and lots of laughter) into the countdown to the full on blitz of 'Hungry Child' as apparently getting the band and crowd to coordinate a one to eight countdown is harder than you'd think!
They finish with great gusto on the massive 'Technocracy', a fitting end to a fabulously stomping gig.
Hard as nails, as brilliant as ever and bloody nice guys to boot (and yes, I may have a little COC crush now!), Corrosion Of Conformity are back with a vengeance and hopefully this time round they won't stay away for so long.