As was to be expected, this was something of an odd night gig-wise. Four bands on, due to one reason or another first (local-ish) band The Nothing didn’t appear, so it was left to Panic DHH to open proceedings. And did they.
30 minutes of searingly intense industrial noise, Panic DHH are really fucking good live. On record they are heavy and abrasive enough – live they just take it to another level, coming across like Nine Inch Nails if Trent had discovered power electronics rather than his current rock direction. Opening with Reach and No More was a good move – two of the more accessible tracks on the album, but no less furious. There were a handful of new tracks, which seem to show a slightly different approach, while the more experimental side was shown in the likes of Simplex (Starve). Nothing said all the way through the set – there really was no need. After bludgeoning the crowd into submission for the set, they simply set down their instruments and exited the stage.
NFD were…just dull. Plodding goth rock, little to seperate themselves from anyone else in the genre, so a drink and natter was had with friends for most of the set instead.
Mortiis was frustrating. The sound was all over the place, so some tracks sounded fantastic, while others were a mess. What was noticeable is how much more “rock” the tracks are live, rather than the electronic pulse of the recorded material. Thats not to say it’s all gone – older tracks Parasite God and set closer Smell The Witch were both still stomping industrial monsters, although set highlight was certainly the rampaging new single Decadent and Desperate. Earlier single The Grudge was one of the victims of the muddy sound, and just never seemed to get going, while set openers Broken Skin and Way Too Wicked both also suffered, which is a shame, as the latter is fantastic on record.
No doubt though that Mortiis is something of a showman, prowling the stage like a predator hunting prey, hurling the mic-stand everywhere. Next time hopefully the sound will be better.