Being the professional that I am I arrived at the gig bang on ‘doors.’ I then did what every self-respecting journalist would do in this situation and head to the bar. I still haven’t got used to paying 3 quid for a Carlsberg but what can you do. That is quite literally the price that I must pay for my profession and your reading pleasure ladies and gentlemen. I wonder if I can claim that back on my tax return?
Anyway, last night I shelled out that 3 quid for a beer for very good reason. This was the night when Out Of Sanity were due to play their first ever headline set. I have seen them twice before and regular readers will know that I rate them, like really rate them. So it’s safe to say that I was expecting fireworks.
The lights dimmed.
The set erupted into life as the mighty opening chords of ‘Destroy Your Captor’ reverberated round the room. It sounds like a 300 mph journey through the mind of a mad man. The solo is simply sublime; it was to be the first of many.
‘Blind’ is deliciously heavy, a real ‘cut yourself a slice’ of heavy rock. The Thin Lizzy inspired ‘This Is The Time’ sees the band enter more traditional rock territory, not that this is any way a bad thing. There is plenty more to this band than just crashing and screaming. Having said all of that the next song was about as heavy as it gets.
‘Call to Arms’ is the most fitting title for a song that I have heard for some time. This is Black Sabbath turned all the way up, the soundtrack to impending doom. Go back to your homes people because the end is nigh. The addition of a metal ‘scream’ type vocal also comes to the fore here and fits the mood perfectly.
I have already mentioned above that there was a hint of Thin Lizzy in one of their previous tracks, well there was more than a hint here as the band covers ‘Don’t Believe A Word.’ In a slightly strange twist I was actually listening to this song on the way to the gig, having seen them cover this before and once again it didn’t disappoint. It was brilliantly put together with the guitar solo in particular being totally on point.
Up next was a track called ‘Ancient Times.’ The opening riff is dirtier than that one night stand you wish you’d have kept in touch with. It’s just insane. I wasn’t sure it was possible but the band then managed to kick things up another gear. ‘Beneath The Ground’ is a triumph of pure energy and noise over finesse, but a clever little breakdown part way through demonstrates that the band really know how to put together a song.
On stage the band look incredibly calm and composed, it’s hard to believe that the ridiculous levels of noise you can hear are coming from them. ‘The Rebel’ is led forward by a riff which sounds like what would happen if 70’s glam rock had a child with Metallica. The stunningly intricate guitar solo dances over the top of the main crescendo, weaving wonderful patterns along the way. But, the main feature of this song has to be the breakdown, which featured some pretty interesting dance moves not only from the audience but from the band themselves… I’m really not sure how it to sum those moves up in all honesty.
‘Over The Top’ sees the band in their best Motorhead guise smashing through the next 3 and a half minutes or so with a relentless aggression which rocks the room. It isn’t just me who is impressed the audience are all head-bobbing, with a couple of them indulging in some piggy back assisted head banging, which I have to be honest is a new one on me!
There was now chance for a brief period of rest bite while the band tuned their guitars down a notch. The silence was filled by some marriage threatening ad libs from frontman Brad Weston, until the rest of the band kicked in with the next track to save him from a night on the sofa.
Did I mention the guitars had been tuned down? Man alive it was deep. ‘Take This Life’ was a perfect demonstration of why I rate this band so highly. In my mind when seeing a band perform live they have to make you feel something and make you believe in what they are playing. And that is certainly the case here, if you couldn’t feel the passion in this track then there is something seriously wrong with you.
The band brought down the curtain on what had been a quite sensational performance by treating those in attendance to a brand new song. In short it’s classic Out Of Sanity. Drums, guitars, bass, all just huge and shake you to your boots, while the vocal fires over the top. I’m definitely looking forward to hearing this one again in the future.
But for now that was to be it. The 45 minutes is up and the smoke machine has pretty much rendered half of the stage invisible. As the smoke begins to lift all you can hear is the sound of cheering and the brilliant sound of a crowd who have enjoyed their night. And up on the stage Out Of Sanity stand and take it all in, cool calm and collected as always, safe in the knowledge that they just rocked the place. Fantastic.