Midnight, Night Demon, Overthrow
New Cross Inn, London (England)
Live Review and Photography by Chris Galea
To put matters in context…shortly before it was due to take place, Manorfest got cancelled. This was a great shame since its line-up of bands was nothing short of impressive. From all the bands scheduled to descend onto Whittlebury Park in central England, the bands from U.S.ofA. were in a particular quandary so they quickly tried to book some club dates in England to make their trip worth the while. Night Demon and Midnight were two such bands – instead of a festival scenario they got to play in a much more intimate setting.
So here we are and local band Overthrow were tasked with breaking the ice. In fact, as I enter the New Cross Inn, Overthrow are just finishing their soundcheck.
Despite the fact that Overthrow have been around for quite a while, this was my first foray into the band’s music. Blackened Thrash is how I’d categorize the band’s music – a genre I’ve heard many times before but Overthrow performed with an impressively tight and angst-ridden conviction.
Yes, I very much enjoyed Overthrow’s set and the crowd’s reaction suggested I wasn’t alone in that. In particular the last song in their set (which I later found out to be ‘Altar Of The Fallen’) seemed to grab the audience by the scruff of their necks and rattle them frenziedly. Such was the band’s impact.
By that point the venue was already packed….things are looking good….
Altar Of The Fallen
It’s been a while that I’ve been wanting to see Californian combo Night Demon perform live and tonight that wish comes true for the first time. The band’s music was different from that of Overthrow and Midnight….less aggressive but still very dynamic. Night Demon are directly influenced by the heaviest and most riff-laden bands of the NWOBHM. More to the point is the fact that I thoroughly enjoyed the band’s set.
As suggested earlier the trio had a very dynamic stage-presence and I had a hard time pinning them down for a few unblurred photos (always a good sign with Metal gigs). Night Demon always seemed to have an ear for the crowd’s mood and each song felt perfectly timed for the moment. Of course it helped that the band has such a great arsenal of songs in its repertoire.
Apparently the gear of Night Demon and Midnight got lost when the bands arrived in England (not a surprise really….the air travel industry has been in a shambles since Brexit). So kudos to both bands for giving the middle finger to adversity and making the most of tonight’s gig.
Screams In The Night
Kill The Pain
The Sun Goes Down
Are You Out There
Curse Of The Damned
For the benefit of Midnight virgins, the band (a trio…as Night Demon) plays a blackened Thrash with a Punk-like attitude. I had already been to Midnight shows before this night….always in festival scenarios….and to be totally honest I hadn’t been won over. However I have several European friends who heap praise upon Midnight so I was looking forward to re-assess this band. As the DJ stopped playing, the band members stepped onto the stage, and then…..all hell broke loose.
Besides the punters even the band members themselves stage-dived and crowd-surfed. At one point, while bassist/vocalist/band mentor Athenar was being carried from one side of the venue to the other, a member of the audience went up on stage to play his bass. I could have sworn I even saw a snare drum surfing the crowd at one point. The absence of any barrier between the audience and the low stage helped break down any psychological distinction between band and audience – it was one crowd, one Metal party.
From the street, the glance of a homeless man shifted from his bottle of booze to the venue’s transparent glass panes….his mind probably trying to decide whether he was witnessing reality or some alcohol-manufactured nightmare.
As Midnight finished their last number, the band members dumped their instruments onto the stage. Loud feedback echoed through the New Cross Inn as the trio walked through the spent audience and out of the venue.
It was a long time since I had last been to a gig with such a sweat-drenched and boisterous crowd thronging the venue. And I loved every moment of it.
New Cross Inn:
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