It's always a positive start if you arrive at a venue and there is a healthy sized queue waiting to get in so by the time the first band, London based hardcore punk trio, Blasted hit the stage at the Underworld in Camden there was a reasonable sized but sedate crowd gathered at the front of it.
They proceeded to pay an absolute blinder of a set, including songs from their newly recorded cassette, my only minor issue was that the sound was a little distorted, no fault of the band, who I thought achieved great things particularly considering this was only their fourth show since their formation earlier this summer and I think the audience, judging by their enlivened attitude, by the time the set was over, agreed also.
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Whatever the minor sound issue was, it had been dealt with by the time the second band, hardcore thrash quartet S.S.S., from Liverpool, hit the stage. They played an energetic set which absolutely blew me away.
Vocalist Foxy had an excellent stage presence and commanded both stage and audience with his witty retorts and banter.
Musically their performance was excellent, particularly the vocal delivery, as they performed a selection of songs from their three albums, including 'Damaged Goods', 'Power Down' and a track dedicated to a local skate shop called 'Ride The Best, Fuck The Rest' to an ever expanding and considerably more animated crowd.
The third support act, Punch, a female fronted, five piece American punk band, didn't make a massive impact on me. I felt the vocals let the performance down slightly, however they were very well received by the audience and successfully prepared the crown for the headlining act.
By the time veteran Detroit hardcore punks Negative Approach hit the stage the room was in full party mode, with stage diving and crowd surfing being an almost compulsory activity. They played a mixed set from across their broad history and when they reached 'Tied Down' and the short, sharp 'Lost Cause', the pit was an absolute frenzy also there were so many people now on the stage it was hard to tell who was in the band.
John Brannon was an imposing presence on the stage and an excellent vocal performance. Topping off this set was an excellent cover of Sham 69's 'Borstal Breakout'.
They may have been around the block a few times but clearly Negative Approach still have a lot to offer musically and are a huge inspiration to the new generation of punks.