Posted by & filed under Live Report, Music.

Snot perform Get Some in full

Snot The Bastard Sons poster

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

Kerrang! 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 Strait. Snot had released their seminal and immensely popular début album Get Some and were in the process of recording the follow up when Strait 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 made him something of an iconic figure in the burgeoning hardcore-punk/nu metal scene, so it was unsurprising that last night’s 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 start 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, forget their ages, jobs and mortgages and throw themselves into a pit that soon consumes the whole front half of The Garage  - a 600 capacity venue.

The powerful, sinuous tightness of the band mingles 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 enables the moshing to twist to even more contorted heights of physical jubilance.

Stoopid” merges with “JoyRide” as the first crowd surfer of the night taxes the yellow jacketed security with his squirming enthusiasm, and equally-fervent desire to get back amongst the ever churning melee of bodies.

Guitarist Mike Doling screams ”It’s been 18 fuckin’ years man, but we finally made it.” into the mic, when they finally pause for breath between “The Box” and “Snooze Button“, His words cut through the miasma of steam rising from the pit thanks to over ambitious air-conditioning and the venting of the crowd’s passion.

Regardless of the torrent of need being allowed to gush tonight, the band hammer their tunes home in the most resounding manner. Jamie Miller smashes 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 – sear the crowd indelibly with the songs they know so well but are only now experiencing in their intended fashion.

Snot are obviously relishing this opportunity to preach to the choir. Doling’s face ripples with a fusion of mischief and delight as he and his band exorcise the demon, manifest in the near 20 years of absence from the UK. The songs, by turns slinky and marauding, allow the band freedom to show-boat and pantomime their way through the set. Their smiles shimmer on the surface but also plainly resonate deep inside.

Get Some”, “Deadfall” and “Tecato” fly by in a haze of amazement. With the excitement overwhelming my normally dominant sense of self-preservation, I was enticed into the heaving pit. I manage just over a song before catching a stray knee to the Family Ness, rendering me in considerable pain, so clutching the damaged area and ruing my bad luck, I limp to the side, collecting a slap on the arse from a huge sweaty man along with several schadenfreude-sodden smiles.

From my new, safe viewing platform, I watch Snot ram through the rest of their set, which concludes with the emotive “Absent” and a surprising cover of Metallica‘s “Hit The Lights”.

Hit the lights, OK. Lights up, revealing bodies; battered and bruised but in the best way, capped with smiles so wide they are barely contained within the faces from which they’re grinned. This is the kind of show that fills the body with adrenaline and the mind with memories. The glandular and vascular combine to provide us with a thousand new reasons to just why metal inspires such ardent and fertile devotion.

The king is dead, long live the king.

Abscess filled.

John Writer Banner