It was a quick whizz up a surprisingly clear M1 to Nottingham's Rock City this afternoon for the Damaged Stock all Dayer, a charity gig with a bunch of fine local metal bands raising money (over £1,300 at the final count!) for Epilepsy Action.
Now anyone who was inside the big tent at Bloodstock this year would know the main reason for me heading up to this, and it wasn't just the fact that Jagerbombs were £2.00 a shot, although that was a real plus. Nope, the real reason was that after watching a couple of thousand people (the band put the number at closer to 4 million) do the Robototron in complete sync, I was well and truly hooked on the growing phenomenon that is Evil Scarecrow. Both brilliant and bonkers in equal quantities, this band could just prove to be the saviour of all things Metal.
Article continues below...
I'm getting slightly ahead of myself here though, as the first band to really catch my eye were Valhalla, an interesting young thrash band from Northampton with some seriously chunky, fierce guitar work. Definitely one to watch, this lot, and yes, having a rather fine looking vocalist won't do them any harm whatsoever.
Mantra raised the bar a little, but at this point in the eveing with most people being now fairly well lubricated, everyone, including their own celebrity robot Slagbot, was ready to get well and truly 'Scarecrowed.
Triaxis up next. Now I'm not a huge fan of female vocalists in rock/metal bands, but that fact aside, they were very proficient just, for me, not terribly inspiring.
Roaring into the brutal 'Architect of Hate', these guys may look as mad as a bag of badgers (and probably are), but they are also superb musicians and if you're not listening too hard, you may miss the fact that, at times, their tongues are embedded so firmly in their cheeks that they're coming out the other side.
Vocalist and chief shouty man, Dr Rabid Hell, leads this band with gusto and vast amounts of charisma through the romping 'Vampyre Trousers' and into new song 'Book Of Doom' complete with, you guessed it, a Book of Doom brought out tenderly by guitarist and chief loon, Brother Dimitri Pain.
With the place seriously rocking now, they launch into their inimitable version of 'Thundercats', complete with synchronised headbanging.
On through the wonderful 'Morbid Witch' and 'War And Seek', we get to what they confirm is one of their earliest and possibly silliest tracks ever, 'Elephant Boy'. But it's the next one up that sends the place into paroxysms of metal delight and mayhem, the simply awesome 'Blacken The Everything'. A deliciously dark treat of a song that's hysterically funny and brilliantly played, and one that, of course, leads into the best version of 'The Final Countdown' I've ever heard.
Returning for the encore to great applause and huge grins, they blitz their way through the fiery fire of 'Ashes' and, finally, to the one we've all been waiting for, their own Metal epic, 'Robototron'. If you've never seen what happens next, then you really do need to get your backside down to an Evil Scarecrow gig, as it's one of the best sights you'll ever have the pleasure of witnessing, with every single person (including sound and lighting men) doing the Robototron dance in sync.
Absolutely fucking hysterical, and a fitting end to one of most awesome gigs I've been to in decades. Funny, witty, decidedly barking mad but underneath it all, fabulous musicians with wickedly great songs. This band don't take us or themselves too seriously, and if your intention, like mine, is to go out and see a really good metal band and have as much fun as you can shake a scary stick at, then you'll not find anyone better to fit this bill than Evil Scarecrow.