Peterborough is like most places without a university, its lacking crowds that venues need to rely on to stay open. Once upon a time there were several venues that drew bands from all over and packed out often, in 2018 that is drastically different, and those once common heavy shows are very few and far between, even then you just don’t know how many will show. The attitudes never change of those in the bands though and it’s great to catch up outside before hand with guitarist Gizz Butt who is flyering to promote the return of punk rockers Janus Stark.as they are set to pack as many into one of the smallest, greatest pubs we still have, The Ostrich Inn late November. The talent in bands around the area is undoubtedly strong, we’ve even had a local band play every year at Bloodstock the past few years, with a few missing missing out by a whisker which is really testament to that talent.
Saturday night was in no doubt going to be a busy one, an evening of nothing but local bands from Peterborough and the surrounding areas with a cross of genres keeping it fresh. Most of these aren’t new to the scene, and still bring reliable crowds which showcases their talent. The first to open proceedings had probably the toughest job of all being a punk band, but The Deadites never fail to give it their all. The Trio fly through track after track and sound probably as strong as they ever have done, re-occuring issues that would trip up smaller acts fall by the wayside and their energy shines through as they make the stage their sweat box, they make a point to follow Vendettas route of being a true DIY band and work hard at it, they deserve a following of their own but until that grows, they seem happy to play a show for shows sake and get their music out there. Well worth checking out if ever there’s the chance.
Next up is a band I’ve not seen in a while, having been friends and a fan of the guys for what seems forever, they’ve made some noise of their own and had the pleasure of sharing stages and radio play over their plentiful years, Smokescreen have been pedalling their stoner-grove metal for 17 years now, and in the past several years have remained a four piece band which has grown stronger and stronger with Sam Loose taking on guitar and vocal duties. A roll he seems more comfortable and impressive at each time I witness a show. Concentrating mostly on material from the album The Human Condition, its broken up with some old and new material, the new of which coming in the form of their latest EP, the opening track Dominion being extremely familiar these days having been playing it for a while. Their time together as a unit has them always showcasing the finest of on stage performance, its all about the live show with these guys and it is never a dull time. If you are a fan of Black Label Society or Down to name a few, they are a must for you!
Although they don’t seem to have anywhere near the years under their belt as the previous or headliner band, Morti Viventi are the new thrash titans making themselves noticed quick, a fan base that follows them everywhere and gets the place moving, they are quicker than a bullet and cut sharper than a knife. The Day the Dead Returned came out in 2015 and has the crowd extremely familiar with it, their love of horror drives their songs just as the title might suggest, and it sounds just as good on record as it does on stage (for £5 the digital release of the album is a steal!) Very much the machine of Adrian Heathershaw, he has the addition of great skill around him making it tighter than a nuns snatch. A perfect end to the supporting acts before the main celebrations.
Vendetta have finally made it, facing probably one of their toughest times, they were due to celebrate their 20 year history back in August with a show, a terrible car accident put guitarist Warren out of action, a worry for us all, we were for a time not fans of the band, but all friends and hoped to see him recover, thankfully he has and nicely so. It may have postponed their celebrations but it hasn’t slowed them down at all, and to celebrate their album release with it really was the best you could hope for. A look around the venue shows it as busy as I could ever recall, something not seen for years for sure, and the grins on everyone’s faces shows what a bruiser the show will become. The gain of Tom Amos, know more for his death metal work with local band Komatyzed at first might have seemed like an odd choice, but that is soon put to the back of your mind as he marches hard on that stage and bellows
heavily at the crowd in true hardcore fashion. A spot he has definitely made his own. Guitarist Warren looks happy to be there and puts everything he can muster into his performance, eternally grateful for the band and fans patience through what he openly calls his toughest year ever, naturally it is all well received. Over the other side of the stage, guitarist Wes and bassist Doc fight for space as the feed off the energy in the room, while sat in the back Gav pummels away loving each moment between songs to see how the crowd are taking the new stuff. All the new tracks go down well, with a crowd already giving back in unison with parts, as if that treat wasn’t enough, a couple of the guests on the album are able to make the trip and join Vendetta to try and blow the roof off the place.
To say Laws of Brotherhood has gone down so well would be an understatement of massive proportions, this night showed we are all in the brotherhood and stand tall together through thick and thin. From the band, the fans, to the venue, this has been twenty years in the making and yet somehow, the train only feels like it has just left the station, wait until it picks up steam. For those at Mammothfest, they are coming your way, get down to see these, they are something you will not want to miss it.