Monday 16th September, 2002

The Charlotte, Leicester, ENGLAND.

A Monday night at the Charlotte and you could be forgiven if you thought that there wouldn’t be many turn up, but you would also be wrong. The venue was well filled with happy punters from all over the midlands, it’s amazing what sort of a crowd can turn-out when people make an effort.

First band on stage tonight was an unknown for Downtuned, called Paint The Town Red. A 5-piece from the West Coast of America, these guys didn’t take long to win over an initially cautious crowd with their infections, straight forward, energetic metalcore attack. An extremely tight performance of hardcore influence metal, with plenty of kick-bass drum-work and angry vocals, which went down a storm.

Next up were old friends of the Midlands hardcore scene in John Holmes featuring Mr Rock n Roll - Gords Holmes - on Bass. Last spotted filling in for Bloody Kev on vocals with Helvis at the Nottingham Morrowfest, an energetic performance could be expected from this mad man. And that is pretty much what was delivered, a nasty, raw, unpolished, punk/metal crossbreed, like some sort of mix between Motorhead and The Exploited. A metal switchblade sharpened with punk\hardcore attitude. The set went reasonably well except for a slight atmosphere, kicked off by a heckler who for some bazaar reason kept shouting for Eye Of The Tiger. The vocalist who at several points got quite threatening didn’t particularly appreciate this. However, the threats did eventually result in said heckler shutting up.

Finally to the main band of the night - Converge. This was the first UK date of their European tour and after a stint on the continent, they were glad to be playing to an English speaking audience. These four Americans from Boston really did make a lot of noise as they whipped up the packed crowd into frenzy and formed the largest pit at the Charlotte in ages. Half the venue was involved as the band battered out some of the most intense noisecore your likely to hear. These guys have been playing this sort of music for many years and the experience really did tell without any loss of enthusiasm. The vocalist never kept still during the songs, racing from one side of the stage to the other and despite an initial period of technical difficulties with their kit, the gig was just excellent. They played a good balance of older and more current songs which included a brand new song that they claimed hadn’t been played before on this tour and didn’t even have a name yet. This is to appear on a new album due out next year.

It was a fucking good night here in Leicester, with three quality bands playing to a packed house and getting a raucous and well deserved reaction. Now why can’t every gig be like this?


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