Ensorrowed/Coronach/Ramraid/Her Last Goodbye/Skum - The Lomax (UK) 13th March 2013

Well another great night out at The Lomax, with a bit of a shock in store as Joe from Ramraid pointed out that Liam from the band Skum had, had his hair shaved off which was a shocking discovery – for me anyway (Being a Tressophile) :D although he did say he regretted it so hopefully he will grow it back again!

Skum’s performance although heavy did not raise the roof – well not like the last time they played and being on first always has its warm up problems however the guys did a stunning set - a particularly mesmerizing one as each chord and beat just splintered from the PA.
The guys themselves looked less than impressed and Liam (now complete with shaved head L ) introduced the tracks very ‘Matter of fact’ while Kyle nonchalantly played guitar and Witch never gave anything away in facial expressions but then again he never does!
Their songs were slow and heavy and typically sludge orientated but none the less always a pleasure to see them live. I particularly loved “Made in Britain” not that I am all that patriotic but this track just shone.
The band was so heavy in fact that, bottles kept flying off the shelf near the stage!
I was quite impressed with this no nonsense all in sludgy performance, of Skum and hope to catch them playing live again soon.

From Sludge to Post-Hardcore Her Last Goodbye upped the tempo quite a bit and delivered a breath-taking set. Raw and brutal with its slow moments on “Rock, Paper, Scissors, Lizard, Spock” and dedicated to Joe Speak the host of the evening. I love that track for its beautiful melodic opening.
Pressure Point was to the extreme with the thunderous grooves and menacing vocals really kept the crowd open mouthed. The melodies contained within it were superb.
John the bands frenzied vocalist was jumping around the stage and floor not really giving a fuck but putting everything he had into the tracks and causing Frank the Lomax owner to shout out “You need to work on your forward rolls a bit more!”
The thing that makes Her Last Goodbye so memorable are the track titles themselves especially “I’m sorry Mario but your Princess is in another castle!” James who also sings for the band whilst playing bass mentioned when introducing the track about the ages of people who would know Mario from the computer game and said he was feeling his age, although his vibrant stage performance said otherwise.
At one point James announced that the mic had broken and the mic stand did not look to steady either, however the set continued with lots of HLG style.
From start to finish this band delivered a highly enjoyable set and just a shame that there were not a lot of people there to witness and enjoy it in all its glory. These guys know where to hit the spot and that is right between the eyes!

Old favorites Ramraid took to the Lomax stage next and got off to a thrashing start, but then as Bred for Death started Joe lost the pin on his guitar that was holding the strap and was forced to stand holding it smiling uncomfortably at the crowd and made worse by the fact his new girlfriend Emma was witnessing the band for the very first time.
CJ from Ensorrowed asked Joe what was his guitar was tuned to and when Joe replied CJ just said “Fucking Hell!” so no other guitar was available but quick thinking Joe invited everyone to mosh out on stage and sang his heart out thus keeping the set going and with the help of Ben on guitar whose playing was absolutely immense last night really saved the evening.
The band managed to complete their set and the people there really seemed to be having a great time despite Dom the band’s drummer breaking the pedals – considering these guys and all the bands who played at the gig are non-professionals, they all certainly stepped up to the mark and improvised so the momentum was never lost.  I wonder how many mainstream bands could do that.
These gigs are important to support without these bands we would not have a scene at all, and Ramraid certainly deserves the support of everyone out there.

Coronach really came “into their own” last night and delivered another highly charged set, with a difference! Benn the fast spider fingered guitarist smashed out some amazing riffs and I am sure at one point the guitar just seemed to play itself. Benn’s fingers hardly touched the strings - either that or you missed the rapid movement up and down the fret-board – it really was really stunning.
Chris’s vocals were solid, deep and penetrated the small Lomax stage, whilst although Liam managed to break a snare with all that hard pounding you just could not fault their set.
It was definitely the best I have seen Coronach play and this time they really hit the nail on the head with this performance.
Lee and CJ from Ensorrowed growled a few tracks out as Chris gave them the mic and said “You know the next track and Lee growled “Hobo with a Shotgun” so love this track despite it being the shortest one it really is memorable, brutal and raw! CJ growled the next track his voice biting and derisive and added that certain element to a death metal set. Great set!

I have seen Ensorrowed play on numerous occasions but this set really topped the bill last night.  From start to finish you could tell that the band was really enjoying the set immensely and all the tracks were delivered fast, and furiously.
On occasions though Lee’s voice sounded slightly off key but above the high octane sound it was not too much of an issue, but as mentioned before the growls that Lee produced were extremely powerful and vicious in delivery and this made up for the slightly off key moments.
One of the highlights of Ensorrowed’s set was the band playing their own version of Paranoid before which John asked the crowd to get on stage – myself included but I declined as someone had to take some photographs!!! But I was very tempted. Everyone went crazy singing along with hair flying and such a great end to a special night’s entertainment.

To sum up:
The night was not without its set-backs with mics breaking, drums breaking, pedals disintegrating and guitar straps failing but the way in which all the bands dealt with the mishaps were incredible. The show must go on as the saying goes and believe me it did.

Personally I cannot stress enough the importance of attending local gigs (even on a school night!) as if you fail to turn up this could lead to a closure of venues and without the venues the bands will not be able to perform and thus breaking down the music scene for good.

This was a very reasonable night’s entertainment for just 3.00 – I mean what can you buy for 3.00 nowadays? Not much, but that 3.00 brought five quality bands that have all been practicing, learning and writing songs, brought gear to the venue and went on and delivered some fantastic sets. – Where else can you get up close and personal with bands? It is not your mainstream bands for sure, and you will pay four or five times more, plus travel and drinks for the pleasure and at top prices - so just think about that and next time you see any one of these bands advertised – just make the effort to go down and support them!

Special thanks to Joe Speak for putting on the event, Frank & his staff for their hospitality as always.  Tim for the excellent sound quality on the evening, Ian “Cuzzy” Laver for just being awesome! Chris Simpson and girlfriend Leanne for the good conversation, Emma for braving a metal gig and surviving, and to ALL the bands who gave 100% of hard graft to make the event what it was... Skum, Her Last Goodbye, Coronach, Ramraid and Ensorrowed – Hope to see you all again soon!

Reviewer: Pagan Hel
Mar 17, 2013

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