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Discharge Delight The Faithful At The Lounge 666 In London

Metal owes a lot to punk rock, some bands moreso than others. At the top of the list must surely be Discharge, the punks from Stoke On Trent who have had their music covered by such bands as Metallica, Sepultura, Anthrax and Machine Head to name a few. It's surprising then that for a band as legendary as this, the turnout in London was quite disappointing. Despite this and the absence of bassist Royston "Rainy" Wainwright, the band made sure that all that did attend went home happy.

Opening the show was The Migraines, based in both Bristol and London. The band is very much what one would think of when it comes to punk bands, minus the Mohawks, in that they have some solid music but are very loose and non-nonchalant about things. They're a good laugh at first but the novelty of their simple lyrics wears off pretty quickly, there's only so many bands that can sing songs about weed before it becomes very stale. Despite my criticisms, they're at least very good musically and well worth checking out if the style and humour are to your taste.

Up next was Dragster from Coventry, which aside from Cathedral is probably best known throughout music history for its contributions to ska. Dragster are a much more serious affair, but no less fun. Vocalist Fi Dragster has a magnetic and bombastic presence, going off like a Tasmanian devil in a world of her own, which makes the delivery so much more gripping. The band has been going for a while now and will delight fans not just of punk but of garage and good old fashioned dirty rock and roll. Superb.

Finally, we come to the evening's headliners, Discharge. With "End Of Days," their first new album since 2008 and first with vocalist Jeff "J.J." Janiak, to promote, the group had something to push, rather than just carry on as a nostalgia act like so many other punk veterans. There was plenty of material from the album on display too, including "Hatebomb," "The Broken Law" and "New World Order," which all received promotional videos. Of course, the band couldn't very well ignore the classics and so the likes of "Ain't No Feeble Bastard," "State Violence State Control" and "Protest And Survive" were all brought out as expected. JJ has brought a huge sense of power and energy back to the fold, which many fans claim was absent when Discharge were being fronted by Rat of The Varukers and he delivers the songs perfectly, with as much venom as when they were first written. While the turnout was disappointing on this night, Discharge certainly was not, proving that some messages are timeless and sadly, the lessons of the past still need to be taught, but then who better to hold class?

Diamond Oz's avatar

Ollie Hynes has been a writer for Metal Underground.com since 2007 and a metal fan since 2001, going as far as to travel to other countries and continents for metal gigs.

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