I went to a gig last Halloween so I thought I better keep that tradition up with a visit to the Underworld for Northern Irish thrash boys Gama Bomb with support from UK old time thrashers Re-Animator and some band called The Carpenters. Y&T were playing down the road but I've never been into them for some reason but I love me some Gama Bomb and they were of course peddling their new album Untoucheable Glory as well.
First up were The Carpenters. An odd duo who as it turns out were called The Carpenters for a reason. They were actually hand picked by the Gama boys as support. This two chaps play the music of renowned sci-fi and horror composer John Carpenter. The most famous of course being the Halloween theme which they played as the last piece of their set. They also played Escape from New York soundtrack and some other Carpenter pieces. Quite apt for Halloween night really. That's the first time I've seen a non guitar music at the Underworld though.
Next up were old time UK thrashers Re-Animator. I have listened and downloaded their albums from the past but I don't really recall them to be honest. They were part of the early 90s UK thrash scene with Xentrix, Lawnmower Deth etc but I don't think they ever really made any waves and remained a cult band. When they started playing I was immediately impressed by their riffs and musical capabilities in general. These guys got the headbangers generating some hot air with their windmilling hair and the baldies nodding as well. I need to re-try their album as I was very impressed live though the front man's vocals are average to say the least but this is thrash so it doesn't even really matter. A very able and fun support to the headline.
The Underworld had filled out a bit to a couple of hundred at least as Gama Bomb finally took to the stage with the main man in cat make up. You have to make an effort it's Halloween but is cat make up really Halloween material? I'm not so sure about that but the guy is hilarious anyway and had plenty of the crowd eating out of his hand with his quips. Musically speaking the band were razor sharp with a perfect Underworld sound mix thankfully which was not as loud as it usually is down there. For me thrash doesn't need to bludgeon you into submission and thankfully GB is a band that doesn't go for that at all. What they do is to blast you into out space with relentlessly fast slightly happy go lucky thrash which careers from one to the next in a blur of speed and vocals. I just don't know how the front man remembers all those damn lyrics they are spat forth so rapidly.
They played a lot of new songs which were unfamiliar as I haven't heard the album but they sounded great straight away so no problem there. It can be argued that GB is a one dimensional band with most songs built around similar riffs but I don't even see that as a criticism. To me they sound like one of the funnest thrash bands ever and in the live setting they prove this by playing with smiles on their faces and sending the moshers home happy on a mild Halloween evening.