Saturday 7th September, 2002

Rock City, Nottingham, ENGLAND.

A night that was definitely worth the anticipation, seeing Dillinger back in Nottingham headlining after their support slot gig with System Of A Down earlier in the year. The support gig that was spoilt by the majority MTV crowd that couldn't understand music that required some effort from the listener and therefore decided to ruin the gig for everyone. Somehow I knew the same wasn't going to happen tonight - this crowd were here to see Dillinger and they knew what it was all about.

After witnessing the equipment set-ups and sound checks before the gig and having the pleasure of an excellent interview with Ben Weinman (Dillinger guitars), it was time to enjoy the gig. The only question mark was why had they shoehorned everyone into the smallest room at the venue - The Basement - rather than use The Rig, as they would attract more than enough people to justify it?

Anyway, the opening entertainment was a hilarious band called Shat, who proceeded to parody every metal cliché you could think of, both musically and visually, with a set full of crazy stuff. A good bit of fun to get everyone warmed up.

The Icarus Line was the real support for Dillinger and a far more sober and mature perspective was created. All dressed in black shirts with red ties and a bass player with a wall of hair, the image of this 5-piece band was immediately striking as a strange almost awkward performance unfolded. Try as I might, I cannot appreciate the sound created by Icarus Line, it just doesn't hold my attention and there are even some aspects that I dislike. Think of Iggy Pop, The Rolling Stones, even a crazed Black Crows as there seems to be elements of all these in their sound. They didn't have an altogether comfortable ride with the crowd, as after the initial curiosity faded, their seemly abrasive style of fragmented, off kilter rock n' roll seemed to almost bore some of the audience. The out of tune wailing did become a little hard to keep listening to for what seemed a long set. Having said that, they performed well and played many of the songs from their latest album Mono, which the crowd occasionally picked up on.

Then to the main course.  From the opening sample loop, the imminent detonation was upon us before anyone knew what was happening, as Dillinger exploded into life and began what was to be an excellent set of chaotic mayhem that pleased just about everyone in the crowd. The manic and highly visual show that was launched at us contained more energy than 15 Hiroshima bombs and involved everything in the vicinity of the band getting bashed about. At one point Ben, after somehow climbing into position, was hanging upside-down from the lighting rig, playing frenetically away like some sort of mental metal playing fruit bat!   His journey down wasn't so smooth and it must of hurt his back as he hit the floor - but it didn't stop him, as he continued playing like some sort of wild dervish.

It was a great show that included the splendid version of Come To Daddy with some superb vocal effects and mixed their old and new material about 50/50. If you're into chaotic metal and you haven't seen or heard this band, then seriously you must take time out to give them a chance. Quite simply, if they work for you, the rewards are so immensely rich you'll feed off it for one hell of a long time. Hey, now I've eaten, it's time for a drink…


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