Weedeater + Slabdragger + Apey and the Pea + Conjurer @ The Underworld, London

19th OCTOBER 2016
REVIEW BY NATHAN SLACK

Fans arrived early to the nearly sold out gig in Camden’s infamous Underworld to catch early support Conjurer from Birmingham and the relatively unknown Hungarian Stoner Sludge band Apey and the Pea who warm up the crowd for the fun and head bang worthy Slabdragger and the help build the anticipation for the headline act, North Carolina’s Weedeater.

Conjurer are pretty new to me, I’ll be honest and I think they surprised a lot of people there tonight. Gearing up for their debut at Damnation Festival this month, they pull no punches with their performance, and at one point the bassist ploughs through the crowd bashing the gig goers with his guitar as he goes.  He apologises on stage later on and carries on thrashing about the stage as they enter into another punishing tune. They sound pretty good on CD but I personally think they are missing something in their live performance’s to make them stand out from the rest of the pack and propel them into a more wider appeal. They are a pretty young band and I’ll be interested in how they mature.

On to Apey and the Pea. People were whispering after they left the stage and one fellow tapped me on the shoulder and asked who the hell they were as he was so impressed. Some people, more in the know travelled over from France tonight just to catch this little known but hard working band from Hungary. They really impressed everyone that night including myself.  The singer really gets stuck into the performance as he stands there sweating in a Napalm Death tank top with his face contorting with aggression and facial ticks as they blow through tracks from their recent I Am Hell album. Songs like Pothead and Abraham really shine here and sound reminiscent of more famous stoner bands like Down but stand on their own two feet. They really have nailed the NOLA stoner sound so when i hear that they are in fact from Hungary I’m totally taken aback. I’m pretty sure they made a new fan in everyone here tonight and we will be hearing of greater things from them. Desertfest 2017? Yes, please!!

Onto Slabdragger… I’ve never caught these guys before but they’re pretty famous in the UK underground metal scene. Two diminutive grungy guys with cheeky grins from the midlands accompanied by their drummer who greets the crowd in a laid back, but infectious manner and you can’t help but warm to these guys instantly. Picks fly from the stage as both guitarists get over excited, coming across as a couple normal dudes having the time of their lives and I personally think they can’t believe their luck that they have landed a support slot with the legendary Weedeater. First mini mosh of the night tentatively starts in their last song but I feel most are saving their energy for tonight’s much-anticipated headliners. I enjoyed their set and will make a promise of listening to their stuff more in future.

Dixie gulps from a half drunk bottle of Jim Beam as the drums are set up centre stage and seems to be psyching himself up or getting into character in the few minutes before the band shamble on stage and declare themselves ready. They start off the show with favourites from the Jason the Dragon including Hammerhandle then straight into Macoon. The crowd rewards them by erupting into a sea of moshing bodies, all that pent up aggression now suddenly let loose. I have to admit to being right in the middle of that throughout their set and I feel sorry for anyone that gets crushed between that damn pillar and the stage. 

Moving onto tracks Goliathan and Cain Enabler; taken from their last studio album, and the crowd settles down a little, happy with head banging along with a slower beat. Still plenty of fun to be had in the pit mind you and I see plenty of goofy grins on the faces of those moshers as they head on into arguably their best song, God Luck and God Speed followed on by Wizard Fight. 

They end their set all too soon for my liking, by playing older songs like Monkey Junction and finally after a brief exit round off the night with the Lynyrd Skynyrd cover, Give me Back my Bullets. A pretty blonde in a red dress crowd surfs onto the stage and precedes to try to dance sexy along to the tune. Not sure she completely succeeds but it added to the dirty groove of the song which was for me the best song of the night. And that was that, they were gone. 

All in all it was a brilliant night with 4 bands on the bill, so you couldn’t beat the value for money. Sadly though it left me feeling slightly cheated as I expected a longer set from the band I really had come to see. I couldn’t help but think that if only we only had 3 bands Weedeater could have played more than an hour. It still was an excellent night and will surely go down as one of my top 5 gigs ever. Bravo!

Weedeater setlist:-
  • Hammerhandle
  • Mancoon
  • Turkey Warlock
  • Jason… The Dragon
  • Goliathan
  • Cain Enabler
  • God Luck and Good Speed
  • Wizard Fight
  • Monkey Junction
  • Time Served
  • Bully
  • Weed Monkey

Encore:-

  • Gimme Back My Bullets

 

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