Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster don’t play all that often. A couple of Northern warm up shows before this, the big one as far as we were concerned. A sold out Underworld, barely room to breathe, never mind swing your chain. Fights, skirmishes break out in the swelter. Heated exchanges threaten to boil over.
When they emerge on stage the surges crush those hunched over the monitor speakers. Guy McKnight doesn’t help things by whipping the crowd up into a frenzy. He entices behaviour of the strangest variety. Stage diving and crowd surfing is relentless. Bottles flying miss heads by inches. Others just sing. The crowd fills in for McKnight when he is incapacitated or staring gurning terrorising into the abyss. It gets hot up there and the shirt comes off. The cult of Eighties Matchbox b-line disaster- who are to punk music what Evil Dead is to horror. It doesn’t quite sit right with the genre yet optimises it at the same time. Quality questionable: appeal unparalleled. As a vocalist I’m an Elvis man and I like death metal, hence why McKnight is one of my favourites. The line, “I wanna f**k your mother, it’s a dirty job but someone’s got to do it well,” will always be on the tip of my tongue. Gone are the days when he would stand legs wider than shoulders, both hands on the mic.
They open with a new one then straight into Mister Mental, the rest is a blur, couple of new ones, then end on Celebrate Your Mother. There will be no encore and missiles are launched and abuse is hurtled at security after chants for more and calls for Alex to be played have subsided. The crowd eventually departs to the sound of cracking plastic beer cups under foot.
Minor mention for the awesome Vile Imbeciles – three piece opening act with a hint of Shellac in the hefty riffs and neat time signatures.