When the boys behind UKThrash say there is gonna be a bus to Milton Keynes to see Lawnmower Deth, Gama Bomb, Virus and Metal Messiah you just can't say no. The mini bus arrives at 2pm at London's Golders Green tube station closely followed by the Gama Bomb boys who have been travelling since the wee small hours from Ireland. Now our journey can begin.
After an hour of getting to know each other, wafts of KFC mixed with Carlsburg and general mayhem we arrive. Well we think we've arrived. It's Milton Keynes. No one arrives at Milton Keynes.... you just appear there... in the middle of a car park/school/sports centre/housing estate. We dispatch the master of ceremonies, Jamie, to probe some school children, "jolly hockey sticks" we are in the right place. It's 3:30pm and we've got 5 hours to spare before the doors open.
Assessing the situation we conclude we need refreshments if the next four hours are to flow by so an advanced party is dispatched in to the waste land to bring back BEER! After ten minutes we fear the worst. If this were London beer would never be more then ten minutes away. A second party is dispatched in to the zombie town closely followed by a third. All return with copious amounts of beer and a football slavaged from a hedge. Leather jackets for goal posts? Time flows by like Guinness of the side of some poor fuckers car. It's time for METAL!
Despite being around at the time I missed Metal Messiah first time around. There is always a sense of unease when a old band reforms. Will they deliver? Will they still have something to offer the crowd? The Pitz is a big venue and about 200 metalheads are standing waiting. Fear not for despite a few nerves Metal Messiah storm through an all too short set of songs with blistering solos and pounding drums.
As if by magic 15 minutes after Metal Messiah Virus take the stage. Not even enough time to get a beer from the miniature bar. Recently reformed and rejuvenated with three new members Virus' singer/lead Coke dominates the stage. After a months of playing sets in the east end of London and calling on 20 years of experience he copes admirably with technical difficulties slicing through classic Virus songs. Virus still have some way to go to over come the demons of the past but if they maintain their current rate of progress they will soon be back on top.
Again with ninja like precision the next band Gama Bomb are on stage after a 15 minute change over. Gama Bomb have a reputation of delivering night after night and once again they didn't disappoint. If this is a warm up gig before they go into Europe then Europe is in for a fucking treat. Combining the energy of Municipal Waste with the verbal dexterity of Lord Byron himself even General Zod would bow down before these thrash monsters. Gama Bomb showed no fear playing every song at least 10% faster then intended Philly only just keeping up with the rest of the band. Truely a band to see or be doomed!
Behind my back the audience has swelled to a near capacity crowd to see the Lawnmower Deth. Sent from the past into the future like all old bands they strode the stage with authority and no idea what the fuck was going on. Introduced by Keith Platt (professional Yorkshire man) the first 5 minutes insult every member of the audience with jokes about Milton Keynes, Wales, Health and Safety. Through sheer luck and muscle memory it all came together in to classic set. This was a warm up for Download and if you have the chance to see them DO IT.
To see more videos from the gig visit the gigs playlist on You Tube.