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Believe in this; Collisions are no more


“Play from your fucking heart.” If Collisions had a motto – a slogan that underpinned everything they did – that was it.

But, after a couple of weeks of uncertainty and a cancelled show at the Camden Barfly, official confirmation has been posted. Collisions are no more.

And that sucks.

I first stumbled across the Brighton-based quartet and their high energy fusion of metal with drum & bass back in late 2012, when they opened proceedings at the release show for The Algorithm‘s debut album Polymorphic Code. As I had spent my teenage years buried deep in the crossover scene of the early nineties, Collisions’ infectious tunes spoke to me pretty much immediately. I walked away that night with copies of both their “Once Weary Eyes” single and Believe In This EP clutched in my sweaty paws.

Over the following years, the band was out gigging hard, and I was often there to see them, be it in a London venue so obscure I’d never heard of it in a decade of hardcore gig-going, down in Southampton with Senser (a show which left me physically ruined for days afterwards) as well as a whole clutch of festivals, which was surely their natural environment. Probably the best show I ever saw them play was a positively triumphant slot at last year’s Mammothfest, complete with stage techs resorting to physically holding Will’s bass drum in place for the majority of the set. Happy days.

It would also be fair to say that over the course of the nine or ten times I watched them play, not to mention a couple of interviews, I got to know the band fairly well. I always enjoyed hanging out with them, with a favourite memory being a particularly fragile breakfast at Tech Fest 14 after they had stormed one of the afterparties. Despite putting the many road miles and mostly sleepless nights required to be an active band and carry day jobs to pay the bills, they always seemed to me to take the tribulations with good humour and a positive attitude.

And things finally seemed to be falling into place for Collisions. As we rolled into 2015, there was the excellent video for “We Know The Enemy” doing the rounds, the band had their diary filling up with shows, including a slot at Hevy Fest and a two week tour in March to coincide with the release of their long-awaited debut album. But, it now transpires that rather than falling into place, things were falling apart.

A couple of weeks ago, a notice appeared on their Facebook page that they were done. It was taken down without further comment barely an hour later, but that was long enough for me to see it, and to start the rumour mills whirring. The date of their Barfly show came and went with the band staying silent – but now vocalist Olly Simmons has confirmed, via his personal Facebook account, that the band really is over. Sad times.

Olly Simmons Collisions split

Of course, questions will be asked. People will want to know why a band who, at long last, seemed to be on the cusp of wider recognition after years of hard work should suddenly implode. But wanting to know is not the same as needing to know. The abrupt nature of their demise does suggest a degree of acrimony, but I’m certainly not going to speculate on its precise nature here and now. There are precisely four people who know what happened, and it is their business, not ours.

The main point is pretty simple. Over the last couple of years, I’ve had a great time being a fan of Collisions, just as I’m sure that – on balance – Olly, Spud, Andy and Will have had being a part of the band itself. Of course it is a crying shame that they now join the vast pantheon of bands that came close to receiving the recognition they deserved before stumbling. But they certainly won’t be the last.

All we can really do now is keep an eye out for what the constituent members get up to next. Oh, and pull up the video to “We Know The Enemy” on YouTube and raise a glass of your favourite tipple to the memory of a fantastic band.

Thanks, lads.