...Short Words...


Occupational Hazard, Mindlapse, Incite and Tenebrae
Thursday 9th November, 2000 @ The Charlotte, Leicester.
A very quiet Thursday night at the Charlotte, arriving at around 9pm and there was hardly anyone there.  As I was settling down and observing, it looked as if most people were in the bands or associated with the bands, the first of which were sound checking and then began their set.  I had never heard of Tenebrae before and three songs into their set I never want to hear of them again.  They were a pretty dreadful group of extra's from Wayne's World who played Slayer covers badly and I wasn't in the mood to put up with it, so off we went to the a pub around the corner that sells decent ale at a decent price.

While pondering over a pint or two, it was decided that if we got back for about 10:30pm we should catch the start of the Occupational Hazard set (as this was the band that I was curious to see).   However, what we didn't realise was that there were four bands playing (we thought three).  This resulted in us missing Incite (another band I had not heard of before) and arriving for the start of Mindlapse.

I have seen Mindlapse once before, during October last year, and on that night I wasn't impressed with the derge-like, death influenced output performed by a bunch of miserable buggers that struggled to keep it together.  So expectations, should I say, were low and we were hoping to miss them.  However, tonight the Leicester band did at least put some effort into their performance and looked a little more practised than last time.  There were slightly more people here now, although as I looked around I was beginning to wonder if we were the only paying customers. Mindlapse did their set and weren't all that bad, they got a reasonable reaction from the meagre audience.  Afterwards, they very kindly handed-out free demo's containing four of their songs, which I will hopefully get a chance to review.

Then onto Occupational Hazard, a band who's music I was a little more familiar with after listening to a few mp3's and I was curious.  They are yet to become even remotely well known, and have a lot of hard work ahead of them if they want to progress, (despite their claims of working the scene since 95 along with untold industry hype).  What dominated my thoughts about them was the total arrogance they projected toward the albeit very small audience.  They did not want to be bothered and indeed 6 songs and 23 minutes later they didn't bother anymore and left the stage, much to everyone's astonishment.

I have seen in the past that these circumstances (spartan attendance), happen to most bands at some point and will probably happen for this band again along the way, but the difference between the good professionals and the 'also-rans' is the way they deal with it.  It's certain that they have to be prepared to work hard and win every single fan to build up any sort of following, particularly in the early days.  I can remember seeing "Kill II This" play to a very small crowd and appear to put as much energy and effort into that performance as any other gig (but they really are a class act).

On the more positive side (and it was hard to find anything positive about this gig), despite the unprofessional attitude that these very young lads showed, there was the underlying feeling that they do have something to offer.  Their style of metal, a sound propelled off the back of electronically sampled industrial rhythms, with heavy 'drop-in' riffs and the beats augmented with live drums, did have appeal.   There are some cool riffs and promising songs, but it will take some convincing for me to give them the time of day that they couldn't be arsed to give us.


Note:  Since I wrote this review, I have been contacted by 'Alan Neill' claming to represent the band (Dec, 2000).  He has explained that Occupational Hazard were very frustrated with the poor way the sound checks and running order for the accompanying bands were controlled.  This left them in a situation where they were coming on stage much later than was planned with what they thought was a dwindling audience and apparent lack of interest.

The band were really upset about the way they came across, and apologise for this. They take on board the point that no matter what the circumstances are, no matter what size the crowd is, the same level of enthusiasm and commitment should be given, as people have paid out their hard earned cash to attend these gigs.

I am pleased and enlightened to observe that the real point of my write up wasn't lost, and that was how my mistaken conclusion of "arrogance" was actually caused by this lack of enthusiasm and commitment coming from the bands performance, I just got the reason wrong.  I personally was looking forward to seeing the band and I still really want to 'like them' as they do produce a good sound. I am deeply redeemed by the fact that the band are big enough to take the points onboard, I find that very heart warming.