3 Inches Of Blood / Himsa / Dozer / G.U. Medicine
13 December 2005
Camden Underworld

It`s early and the Underworld is quiet but those here are treat to a great dirty rocking set from Barnsley`s G.U. Medicine. "Let`s go!" deadpans frontman Lee Storrar in a dour Yorkshire accent as the band take us on a Deathride which recalls defunct fellow South Yorkshiremen Groop Dogdrill crashing into early Clutch. Cut Me Some Slack adds a bit of Alabama Thunderpussy to the greasy mix, pinned down by some hard and dynamic drumming.

The band really hit their stride with closing number Finding Heaven. Whilst Storrar is chained to his Lemmy style microphone stand, guitarist Ryan (who is in fact usually on bass) and stand in bassist Lee, bounce around behind him. The evening had started in fine style.

G.U. Medicine set list included:
Cut Me Some Slack / Right Time / On The Edge / Deathride / Finding Heaven

Picking up the baton, Sweden`s Dozer are on top form tonight. I hardly recognised the band from last time I encountered them, with vocalist / guitarist now sporting a dodgy looking pencil ‘tache and guitarist Tommi Holappa having been replaced by Jack Black`s character from School Of Rock. Well that`s what Holappa resembles not only in looks but also in his OTT stage moves which had us in hysterics.

Dozer build a wall of stoner noise, with Kyuss the obvious reference point and whilst occasionally the genre can become a bit boring, Dozer are so tight that their output takes on a hypnotic effect. So much so that I forgot to take any notes and just got lost in the performance. The whole set was a high point but The Hills Have Eyes, complete with sudden slow break, really was the stand-out moment.

Following Dozer it felt like being at a completely different gig, not only musically but also with the arrival stage front of a load of pretty boys with little black fringes and make-up who had previously been hogging the gent`s bathroom mirror. Himsa hit the stage and the kids looked a bit confused. Vocalist Johnny Pettibone may be a fashion icon to them but the band`s mix of Maidenesque metal and hardcore seemed to be a bit too extreme for many here.

I`ve puzzled over Himsa`s latest album Courting Tragedy & Disaster a number of times. Whilst there`s some undeniable impressive musicianship, particular with the twin guitar attack of Kirby Charles Johnson and Sammi Curr, the very one dimensional vocal of attack of Pettibone grates. I don`t mind a bit of shouting, but my patience wore thin very quickly and the bar beckoned.

By contrast 3 Inches Of Blood were bloody great. Playing lots of material from latest album Advance & Vanquish with a few choice cuts from Battlecry Under A Winter Sun, the band raced through their set with hardly a pause for breath.

The twin vocal attack of Cam Pipes and Jamie Hooper made more sense tonight than past encounters, with Hooper both more visible and with greater variety in his vocal range. Cam Pipes meanwhile remains Mr Metal with a war-cry akin to a dark alley encounter between Udo & Rob Halford.

Wykydtron had the whole crowd shouting it`s odd title and "woah-oh" refrain, whilst Crazy Nights was dedicated to evenings like this, with the booze flowing freely, fists pumping the air and the odd plastic sword held aloft.

It`s obvious the band have worked their socks off on the road this year by this tight performance and where Himsa looked tired 3 Inches Of Blood were focused and ferocious.

3 Inches Of Blood set list included:
Ride Darkhorse Ride / Axes Of Evil / Wykydtron / Crazy Nights / Destroy The Orcs / Fear On The Bridge / Isle Of Eternal Despair / Revenge Is A Vulture / Deadly Sinners

3 Inches Of Blood
G.U. Medicine