For 18 years there has been an abscess in my musical life.

Kerranng was the magazine that fuelled the fledgling years of my musical education and I can recall in one of the first issues I purchased, reading about the death of Snot front-man Lynn Straight. Snot had released their seminal and immensely popular début album “Get Some” and were in the process of recording the follow up when Straight was tragically killed in a car accident.

So they never got to tour outside of the US.

But the seed had been planted. And being such a strong and rocking seed it grew into strong and supple tree, which for many years provided shelter and solace for many of my generation.  Straight’s untimely demise making him something of an iconic figure in the burgeoning hardcore-punk/Nu metal scene.

So it was unsurprising that last nights show kicked off like The Super Bowl, World Cup Final and a boozy bar room brawl between brothers, all rolled into one.

Playing “Get Some” in its entirety, they started with the eponymous aural exciter “snot” and it was as if 18 years of pent up vexation, lust, jealousy, rage, joy, love, hate and need had been unleashed.  The crowd, consisting mostly of over 30’s, forgot their ages, jobs and mortgages and threw themselves into a pit that soon consumed the whole front half of The Garage, a 600 capacity venue.

The powerful, sinuous tightness of the band mingled with the joyous rage of the crowd to produce a kind of catharsis that one can actually taste.  The low slung and behind the beat prowling of the music enabling the moshing to twist to  even more contorted heights of physical jubilance.  “Its been 18 fuckin’ years Man.  But we finally made it.”  guitarist Mike Doling screamed into the Mike, when they finally paused for breath between “The Box and “Snooze Button”. His words cutting through a miasma of steam rising from the pit, thanks to over ambitious air-conditioning and the passion being vented, unrepented.

Regardless of the torrent of need being allowed to gush tonight, the band hammer the tunes home in the most resounding manner.  Jamie Miller smashing the living shit out of his kit with arm flails as excessive as his rhythms are exact.  The rest of the musicians, along with the impressively dreadlocked vocalist Carl Bensley, vibing off the huge surge of positive energy in the room to sear the crowd indelibly with the songs they know so well but are only now experiencing in their intended fashion.

This is the kind of show that fills the body with adrenaline and the mind with memories.  The glandular and vascular combining to provide metal fans with a thousand new reasons to underline just why this music inspires the most ardent, fertile and long-lived devotion.

The king is dead, long live the king.

– John Whitmore

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