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Lawnmower Deth Host The Greatest Christmas Party With Xentrix And Solitary

Since their return to the stage in 2009, Lawnmower Deth has established a reputation among a younger generation of British headbangers as one of the most fun live acts going. Having made no less than six appearances at the famous Download festival, Lawnmower Deth has become one of the most beloved names in retro British thrash once more, perhaps only eclipsed by Onslaught. The group has also become known for hosting annual Christmas shows and last year saw them put on a real treat for old school fans as they were joined by fellow thrash veterans Xentrix and Solitary.

Kicking things off was Lancashire lads Solitary. Formed in 1994 and releasing their first full length, "Nothing Changes" four years later, the band were greeted by a modest sized audience when they took to the stage. Frankly, the sound wasn't the best during their performance, at least from where I was standing and it lessened the impact they could have had. The audience seemed pleased enough with Solitary, but didn't give them much of a response, making things seem a little awkward at times. They weren't bad at all, but the somewhat quiet audience seemed to rub the group the wrong way and they looked as if they were glad to finish.

Preston was being well represented tonight, as Xentrix, who are often brought up as one of Britain's best thrash metal bands, began their set soon after. Longtime fans will of course be disappointed that Chris Astley is no longer fronting the quartet, but new vocalist Jay Walsh does a great job of leading the charge. Their set lasted no longer than six songs, but all of which are really well crafted works of solid metal, including long time favourites such as "Questions" and "For Whose Advantage," both of which appear on the album, "For Whose Advantage," an essential for thrash collectors. All in all, it was a real treat to finally see Xentrix and the band did a great job of not only reminding people why they're so good, but getting them excited for the new chapter in their history.

At only half eight in the evening, it was time for the fabulous metal bozo clowns, Lawnmower Deth to launch their frenzy of frivolity, opening with one of their trademark catchy titles, "Spook Perv Happenings In The Snooker Hall." There's no pretension with Lawnmower Deth, they're the personification of taking the piss. Frontman Qualcast Mutilator (with whom you can check out my interview with here,) did a fantastic job playing ringleader of the thrash metal circus, sending the crowd into laughter from beginning to end. Of course, on such a small stage, the band couldn't bring out all the props their Download performances have become known for but we were still being treated to a barrage of balloons and jokes aplenty, cementing their reputation as a hilarious and unmissable live act.

Musically, there was plenty on offer too, this despite releasing a mere three albums and performing only one song from their third outing, "Billy" ("Buddy Holly Never Wrote A Song Called We're Too Punk.") Fans also got to experience a unique rendition of the Slade classic, "Merry Xmas Everyone" and of course, their famous cover of the Kim Wilde hit, "Kids In America." Meanwhile, no less than ten songs from their debut, "Ooh Crikey... It's Lawnmower Deth" were aired including "Sumo Rabbit And His Inescapable Trap Of Doom" and "Icky Ficky," while in a very surprising move, the band even debuted a brand new song, "Into The Pit," which went down very well. All these things combined made for one Hell of a night and one of a kind way to celebrate both thrash metal and Christmas. One for the bucket list if you've never seen them!

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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