20 January 2011
Camden Underworld, London
What better way to kick start 2011’s gigs than a bruising encounter with Crowbar. Arriving just prior to Crowbar’s stage time, the Underworld was rammed to capacity and it was quite a squeeze to get down to the main area in front of the stage.
Without much of a fuss, the band strolled on to the stage, advised us they would kick our ass and promptly commenced said ass kicking with Conquering. Immediately the crowd became fluid, momentum causing us to sway to and from the stage like waves battering the shoreline.
Centre of attention was of course mainman and mainstay Kirk Windstein. Like the Gimli of metal, though Windstein’s axe is the stringed variety, he led his band through pummelling riffs, occasionally grimacing at the heaviness of his own creations. Between songs his banter was casual, keeping us guessing at which song was next, as he simultaneously busied himself tuning his guitar.
Flanking Windstein, the equally long haired Matthew Brunson and Patrick Bruders provided an onstage symmetry, but also combined with Windstein to turn the sludgy sound into sweet thick treacle. None more so than on the rapturously received Planets Collide, that ended the main set.
Elsewhere, New Dawn ploughed new depths of heaviness whilst All I Had (I Gave) picked up the pace and caused frenzy in front of stage. With a new album Sever The Wicked Hand out next month, we may have expected a smattering of new songs, though Cemetery Angels was the sole representative as the band returned for an encore. …and then they were gone!
Nine albums to choose from yielded 55 minutes of music.Whilst Crowbar were on crushing form you couldn’t help but feel a bit short changed, though they certainly lived up to the old adage “always leave them wanting more”.
Conquering / High Rate Extinction / The Lasting Dose / Burn Your World / I Have Failed / All I Had (I Gave) / Thru The Ashes (I’ve Watched You Burn) / New Dawn / Self-Inflicted / I Am Forever / Subversion / Planets Collide / Cemetery Angels