Wednesday, February 5, 2014

High on Fire 2003

This is High on Fire playing Nottingham on February 15th 2003


Heres a review I found of the gig online. http://www.skippyscage.com/reviews03/021503.html

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High On Fire / Mastodon - Nottingham, Old Angel Saturday 15th February 2003
BEARDS!!! Everywhere, on me, on my compadre Dave, on nearly every punter in this East Midlands biker den, on the members of Mastodon… (especially the singer who truth be told looks a bit of a div, but I bet he thinks it makes him look hard). Anyway this season, beards are in! But then we are at a serious Stoner rock gig in the spiritual home of UK HM (Rock City, the Earache Label (Napalm Death etc), all belong to Nott's). So perhaps I'm jumping ahead of myself here, maybe we won't see fur on the catwalk in this form this season. Anyway enough trend spotting, why am I in Nottingham in a pub full of black garbed lank haired nut jobs? High On Fire that's why. To put you in the picture… once upon a time in America there was a band called Sleep. They made albums, sometimes consisting of only one song that was really fucking heavy, called things like ‘Jerusalem?’ and ‘Sleeps Holy Mountain’. They were heavier than all the members of every line up of Black Sabbath ever sat in a big lead coffin. Sadly, they broke up but Matt Pike, (the singer/ guitarist) was too evil to be kept down and High On Fire is his latest band. They're two albums to the good but this is only the second time they've been to the UK. We decided that it wouldn't be real enough unless we trekked to Nottingham to see them. It had to be experienced somewhere small enough for our brains to be imploded by the massive volume of stoner riffs - and boy were we right.
Mastodon came on played their silly complicated rock and tried to look clever (they were alright but you know I was waiting for something else). The only notable thing they did do was cover ‘Emerald’ by Thin Lizzy which was pretty awesome, but the rest of their set was a bit, "music to do sums by."
Then High On Fire came on, three men, shirts off, hair long, and played the most full on set of heavy rock I have ever seen. They had clearly decided to steer clear of the doom rock numbers and just played a set of songs that sounded like the most righteous hardcore band ever, discovering weed but not quite having enough to slow them down too much. Raging full on, they played most of the tracks off their latest opus, ‘Surrounded By Thieves’ and all I could do was stand there with my brain running out of my ears. It's not like they tune their guitars down to C or employ some kind of ludicrous techno know how, they just sound as heavy as fuck!
I mean, come on, the bass player even had a flying V bass! Although Matt Pike is so fucking rock that he had to invent his own guitar amp to sound heavy enough (the black amp, by Matamp), but I just think that it goes to eleven. After the show we ate chips and cheese and shouted at everyone for the next three days. I think it was the best thing ever in my life.
Ian Unpeeled (the zine that covers the John Peel shows, info from shane@unpeeled.freeserve.co.uk)

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