HANZEL UND GRETYL/DEADCELL/DEATH VALLEY SCARS
Camden Underworld, London
I had expected to walk into a much more crowded venue but as is often the case with opening acts most people just don't bother to turn up early enough to see them.
After arming myself with a pint of cider I decided to join the twenty or so others gathered to watch Death Valley Scars, billed as goth Rock/industrial/darkwave, with the optimistic hope that, as is often the case with opening acts, I would discover another gem of a band.
Sadly this was not the case for me on this occasion; I thought they were disappointingly lacklustre and seemed to be a bit out of tune vocally so after five minutes I decided to retreat to the safety of the bar again.
Every track is blazing with energy and most importantly, fun.
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The next band and supporting act were Dutch industrial death Metal five piece Deadcell and I was initially apprehensive after the first band but this time I was not disappointed. In fact I was completely blown away by them.
Playing a set that spanned their four album discography they were musically excellent. They also had a stage presence that was good, they were very entertaining and engaged well with the audience and it was a shame that there were only about seventy people there to witness their performance.
When headline act, American Germanophile industrial Metal duo Hanzel Und Gretyl hit the stage the now, well warmed up audience, which had expanded to over two hundred plus in number, were more than ready to receive them.
Kaizer Von Loopy and Vas Kallas were on top form, with a set that included 'SS Deathstar Supergalactik', always a popular track, several tracks from 'The Born To Be Heiled' album, including 'More German Than German' and my personal favourite, the hilarious 'Der Furor'.
Throughout the set there was plenty of beer drinking and beer spilling from Kaizer Von Loopy. The set highlight was probably the performance of 'Das Boot'. Three volunteers were called to 'assist' on stage, the assisting taking the form of removing their boot so that it could be filled with beer and drunk from.
This was a disturbing moment for me personally, where intrigue and the entertainment factor did furious battle with disgust and the desire to vomit, but it was, however hilarious and entertaining and everyone seemed to love it.
There was also an unsung gig hero in the shape of the discreet but strong presence of a very efficient female stage assistant who had the sole responsibility of keeping everything together, sorting out microphones when they were knocked awry, which happened on a very regular basis and making sure guitars were taken care of and given the level of onstage high jinks, jig dancing and other mayhem, things could have gone very wrong without her.
Outside afterwards one of the attendees was complaining about the amount of samples used in relation to the ratio of live playing, so what I have to say about that is this; firstly It's industrial Metal, what do you expect. Secondly it's about the entertainment factor, and thirdly you were at the wrong gig, Justin Timberlake was playing at a venue down the road.
Aside from one moaner I am pretty sure everyone else enjoyed the gig; I know I did!