Beautiful carnage. KCLSU, London (October 27)
“Deliverrrry!” Matt Caughthran almost inevitably mouths as he crashes towards the freshly stocked bar. You join us 10 seconds into The Bronx’s first capital appearance in almost 18 months. It’s beautiful carnage, like Enter Shikari times 10. The two unfortunate security on duty are fighting with each other as crowdsurfers and stagedivers rain on them at a rate of three per second while Matt stomps towards the lager taps, mic in fist, lassoing 50 per cent of those in attendance, with the rest of the room rocking like electro-shock casualties. NME’s photographer hits the deck with a suspected ruptured face and a man with a camcorder secreted behind an amp like Bill Oddie on Autumnwatch ducks for cover. Awww chaps, it really has been a while.
Californian Caughthran, as always, is the conductor of the carnage, as he barrels around sporting his perma concussed teddy bear grin – as if he’s been plucked from a Morrisons checkout and thrown into Punk Rock Show Management – and constantly necking Stella. The band themselves, well, they’re a more formidable beast than ever (they’re playing Black Flag in an upcoming biopic of the Germs and there’s a mariachi album called ‘El Bronx’ on its way too). But for the moment they’re strengthening their weaponry, with new slabs ‘Knifeman’ and ‘Past Lives’ slotting perfectly next to the now classic ‘Heart Attack American’ and ‘They Will Kill Us All (Without Mercy)’. As ‘History’s Stranglers’ throttles proceedings to a close, and as hundreds of bodies bounce off one another, The Bronx remind us that they are the ultimate party band in these doomed months. Crashing hope in hopeless times. That recession just got bottled.