‘Ow, my freakin’ ears!’
That the opening act took to the stage over an hour later than billed, and yet the gig as a whole was over by 10pm, hints at just how fast each of these four bands played.
With a lineup once integral to the character of The Old Angel, you couldn't help but feel as though they now looked somewhat at odds with the airier, brighter decor of The Chapel venue space. With limited stage space, two of the four vocalists of the evening took their act to the floor, but the promise of any pit action never manifested, despite the feeling that it was forever on the verge of spilling over. By all means not one best suited to the lingering remnants of a hangover (or perhaps it was, blasting away the sickness and anxiety) this one nonetheless delivered on its promise of fast and loud.
With only a couple songs, openers Bezerk delivered the shortest set, followed by Hex with the clearest, most melodic delivery of the evening, but one still seething with fury and abrasion; their vocalist pacing sprints, shredding her larynx for a decent turnout. Lugubrious Children followed with a blistering ferocity, they came closest to tipping the crowd into a melee with their vocalist getting stuck in on the floor.
Finally were Scottish trio Boak, who ground out a dense set at a meticulous pace with cool sound-samples introducing each number. It was the second time for these guys in Nottingham, and the brutal sound they brought would be a welcome addition to any heavy lineup in the near future.
Questions still hang heavy over the latest incarnation of the Angel's gig space, its feel and suitability when showcasing such a fast and loud set list. Mind you, as the night wore rapidly on there were a couple of drink spillages and a few familiar faces in a crowd eager to move, baby steps perhaps in acclimatizing the new room to what had once been a familiar gathering.
Boak, Lugubrious Children, Hex and Bezerk played The Angel Microbrewery on Tuesday 18 October 2016.