LIVE: Hardcore Superstar, Highbury Garage 11/03/15
Plus special guests Nitrodive and Bonafide.
Words by Karl Eisenhauer, photos by Trudi Knight
It’s an open market at The Garage, and there’s a half-price sale on Swedesleaze – we have three bands on offer tonight, all from the land of the midnight sun.
First up are Nitrodive, a tireless trio hailing from Gothenburg. Their shtick is chemistry-set punk metal, on the nose, degeneration rock. What it lacks in imagination, the band make up for in energy, there’s even a Ramones cover thrown in for good measure. It sounds better after a couple of drinks, and it’s a good taster for tonight’s headliners.
Bonafide appear as the counterpoint. Rock and roll warriors who drift out of the dry ice, rock your bollocks off and then disappear into the dusk. There’s a clear AC/DC hint to their brand of rock, but when has that ever been a bad thing?
Tonight’s main event, Hardcore Superstar, open with crowd favourite We Don’t Celebrate Sundays before diving into new material. Three of the first six songs played are live debuts, and it bodes well for the new record that there’s no noticeable drop off either in quality or audience participation.
Any fears that the band are about to ditch their much loved brand of street metal prove unfounded. Yes, Touch the Sky does ease back on the riffs, but there’s a thick tasty bassline that more than makes up for it.
There’s the occasional misstep, Fly tries to pitch itself as a deep, earnest, mid-set epic, but it exposes itself as pondering, self-indulgent guitar wank, and is an unfortunate moment that derails the show’s momentum. A stop-start rendition of Last Call for Alcohol and the debut of another new track, Party ‘til I’m Gone, can only partially recover the damage done.
Thankfully, there’s an almighty thunderbastard of an encore to ensure the night ends on a high. Moonshine and Above the Law see out the evening in style, and a surprisingly young crowd head off with grins on their faces. Expect sales of tattoos, booze and guy-liner to soar throughout the days ahead.