Crud Fanzines PLC present...

DISFEAR
JOHN HOLMES
BROKEN ACCESS
1 in 12 Club, Bradford 28.04.04

(review & pix by MWJ)

where's the chef?

Despite the general, perhaps prejudiced, bad reputation Bradford has, Iíve seen some excellent live music there over the years. Plenty of death metal and punk spectaculars at the Queens Hall and Rioís, this is the first time Iíve been to the 1 in 12 Club though in itís twenty plus year existence. Itís not a particularly big venue, unpolished/seedy, but is also an anarchist set-up, hence the red and black be-decking the place. In case youíve been misled by the media anarchism does not equate with terrorism or the destruction of all the crutches that civilisation holds dear, rather itís a belief in self-management, co-operation and mutual aid. So to help with the funding of this building and all its functions thereís several gigs a week, including like tonight international touring bands but also anyone else who wants to organise an event. The place rapidly fills, atmosphere is good, and beer cheap (3 pints for £5, let me just pick my jaw off the ground)

Locals Broken Access are berserker in the best sense of the word. Manic hardcore like the Dead Kennedys at double speed, songs lucky if they lasted over a minute, but a hell of a lot crammed into those short blasts. Vocalist circling on and in front of the stage in his stockinged feet, swapping between relentless scream and practically spoken word, with some backing shouted lines as well. Meanings are explained between songs and with titles as ultra-political sense well suited to our environment. After the first strike like a water cannon thereís a rant about the BBC allowing a comedian on air who said if women shagged more theyíd get raped less, and youíd feel better about not paying your licence fee knowing that. Impressive ferocity on many levels and undoubtedly from the heart

John Holmes, a name to live up to, and I think they did achieve an aural equivalent of his performance, an ear-f**king, so to speak! In contrast to the jazzy structures that had gone before there was a more conventional feel to these guysí songs, but delivered with a thumping intensity none the less. Kinda hardcore rock, like the nastier bastard offspring of Motorhead. This impression was enhanced by the bass playerís obvious influence, with his Rickenbacker and overhead mike, but this wasnít just image (apparently his other band Faith in Whores is completely based on the first 3 MH albums, Iím a fan already!). He was able to get a lot of excellent, subtle bass fills that Lemmy himself would exploit when his band were a three piece, while the guitarist concentrated on straight up insistent riffing and the skinhead vocalist menaced and prowled the stage. From the opener "Get up and go" through tracks like "Burn Baby, Burn" and "Easy Rider" it was a great, punchy show, I think they would and should have very wide appeal.

 

It was on the strength of one track on a compilation that had brought me to Swedenís Disfear, and while that ("The horns", wryly described by the singer as "a modern classic", and Iím in complete agreement) is probably the still the best of the bunch the whole show is an absolute stormer. From the fixed stance in front of their stacks as the noise swells at the start to the mass collapse in a guitar pounding avalanche at the end the roaring raw power is awesome. They are supposedly Discharge influenced and elements of that are evident, the relentless riffing, breaks were chords are left to ring out while the drums thunder on, only for everything to blast back in when the moments right. Thereís some hardcore punk feel to it but also similarities to the proceeding band, in that it seems so much rooted in rock, but just cranked up to massively distorted levels and battered out breakneck speed, rock with balls thatíd fill a bucket at the sperm bank. Even guitar solos thrown into the mayhem are sounding good, normally I am quite rock-intolerant especially if it starts edging towards the cock variety but this was all taking me back to the good old Motorhead days that got me into music in the first place. Ex-At the Gates (Swedish death metal legends) vocalist Tomas fronts the band, his hoarse screaming retains enough clarity for the hooks of their chorusís to numbers like "Powerload" and "This Arrogant Breed" and the title track off their last album, "Misanthropic Generation", he also is quietly spoken and amusing in between, they all seem to have enjoyed the show too. Glorious noise.

 

Rain and windows that wonít open far enough hamper my attempts to set fire to the Stars and Stripes hanging outside my hotel bedroom window but Iíll be going back to Bradford for sureÖ

  

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