It’s a cold winter’s night in Camden and the seminal live music venue The Unicorn is hosting another fantastic night of hardcore punk. If you’ve yet to pop along to The Unicorn, you really have no excuse; every show is guaranteed free entry and the quality of the line-ups is always exemplary. Tonight The Unicorn is host to the first night of a strange “sequel festival” to Chimpyfest. This is Son of Chimpy and the vibe is electric from the very start.
Kicking things off in a suitably raucous fashion is Bleach; a seriously intense fastcore band. Being the first band on the bill of an underground punk show like this can be a bit of a thankless task but Bleach have the chops to whip the crowd into a frenzy from the get-go.
Despite the speed of the band’s music, Bleach don’t put a foot wrong. This was a surprisingly tight performance that was at polar opposites with the band’s oiky attitude. The only thing that really struck me as any sort of negative was the fact the band were quite static on stage. A performance as explosive as this could’ve done with some more movement, but maybe the band were playing it safe due to their opening slot. Regardless, this was a brilliant opening to a great night of live music.
I’ve built Clunge Plunger up in my head to a point where they’re this fabled punk act that have an amazing name, but I always seem to miss them due to their tendency to change band members. So here I am seeing the band for the first time and you could tell something wasn’t right as the band seemed a little unsteady, especially in the rhythm department.
The band’s music was still a very strong showing of hardcore with death and doom metal influences and their vocalist was adamant to get in the crowd’s faces and make sure their energy really showed. Speaking of vocals, I was especially impressed with the flawless changes between high pitched screams and lower, gruntier growls. This is quite a testing vocal style but it was delivered effortlessly.
Clunge Plunger have all the right elements to be a great hardcore act but a sloppy performance behind the drum kit didn’t help give them the punch they really needed.
Featuring three members from seminal British doomsters Iron Witch, Siege Mentality is an obvious move away from slow tempos to a more vicious hardcore punk sound. Despite being a relatively young band, the experience these men have had in past projects really shows as the band are incredibly confident in their performance.
Siege Mentality are an extremely tight band and despite the speed and technicality of their music, the band never looked like they were struggling. They also put on a great performance that was full of energy. Vocalist Dave Mould was straight into the crowd, baiting the front row into a bit of slam dancing and there was plenty of movement from the boys on stage. This was an awesome performance to behold and it really felt like seeing a much bigger band on the cusp of moving onto bigger and better things.