30th October 2010
It was rather a sad occasion for me as I'd been going to see them for several years and had videoed a hell of a lot of their gigs and they were, indisputably, my favourite band in the local scene.
When I first saw them supporting Toronto's Zeroscape in a cellar bar in Chatham I was amazed at what I had witnessed and couldn't believe there was still a scene for Death Metal at a local level.
I managed to get to the Red Lion the following night to see both bands again.
Again Denounce blew me away and I knew then that they were the band for me!
The rest is history and I continued to follow them and got to know them and stayed in touch after they'd split up thanks to the social media sites and the local Metal scene.
I'd heard faint rumours that Denounce were reforming.
I saw a few members at a gig at the Red Lion and they said it had been discussed and that they may play a gig and see how it goes.
Several weeks later an invite arrives via one of the said social media sites to a Denounce Reunion gig.
Imagine the goosebumps?
Imagine me squealing like a little girl?
Imagine my wife's reaction?
Playing a gig three years after splitting up?
Can I wait until Christmas for this?
But I have to.
Along with everyone else!
The time slowly passes and special guest support bands are added.
Vendetta (Seen a couple of times before. Awesome!).
Internal Conflict (Seen once before. Enjoyed them!).
Immoral Minority (Never heard of them!).
No Last Words (Never heard of them!).
All invited by Denounce to play as they had played in the past with them and Denounce wanted them to play this gig.
What band in their right mind would turn this down?
21st December 2013
The day is finally here!
I get to the Red Lion nice and early and get the recording equipment set up.
With tonight being such a special occasion I take three cameras with me so that I don't just get the crowd left view you're used to seeing when I film at the Lion.
I speak with Denounce and they're happy for me to place a camera behind the drums and the other stage left which they'll start for me.
(This is in the hope I'll be able to edit them together and make a somewhat decent job of it in the near future!)
All set up, it's time to head to the bar for a well earned pint of tap water and a chat with whoever is about!
In the bar there are lots of familiar faces.
All are saying the same thing.
How much they're looking forward to tonight.
Why did Denounce ever split up in the first place?
What will they play?
Would you like a pint, Colin?
No thanks, I have my water!
8 o'clock comes and No Last Words take to the famous Red Lion stage.
They are a punk inspired band however they have a song called 'Punk Is Shit' so I hope I have their inspiration right.
Sorry if not!
Anyhow, they knock out a ten song set in less than thirty minutes to a small but happy crowd.
I enjoyed them and would like to see then again but maybe not on a bill with a Death Metal headline act.
Up next is Immoral Minority.
They have a very Punk looking logo.
Oh well, another Punk band.
The bassist has a slight mohican and is wearing a Christmas jumper and the guitarist had a very interesting guitar.
Very bright, very fluorescent, very green!
They're here because Denounce invited them to play.
(Now. Remember the old saying if you will. 'Never judge a book by its cover'.)
Immoral Minority start their set and it is, quite frankly, awful.
The timing is bad.
The singing is bad.
"This is going to be bad," are my thoughts.
They finish the first song (thankfully!) and head straight into the second with full force, great timing, great sound, WOW!
It would appear they were teasing and the first track was just an intro of sorts.
Remember what I said earlier...?
It just goes to show that if the cover doesn't appeal to you, open it up and take a look. You may be surprised.
Oh, and they were fucking heavy and not really punky at all!
Would like to see them again with a bigger crowd as the venue is still fair to average in punters.
This will be the first time I've seen Internal Conflict since 30th October 2010.
That's right, Denounce's final gig.
They came from Leicester to play that and they made the journey again to play this reunion.
The same goes for Vendetta, although they're from Peterborough and I saw them a second time in July 2013 at the annual Herofest at the Red Lion.
This goes to show the respect Denounce still have, not only as a band but for the people they are.
People will travel far and wide to play with and watch them such is their reputation and fan base.
Internal Conflict take the stage.
They have a new vocalist and bassist from when I last saw them.
And for the better I reckon.
They were everything I remember and then some!
The bass is heavy as fuck as and at some points in the set here are a few nice 'brown notes'!
The vocals are extremely powerful and the drums a pounding monster.
My only criticism is the guitars could have had a bit more oomph to them.
That said they were nice and crunchy with some awesome solo work.
A cracking five track set of crushing Metal.
It's a pity Leicester is so far away from me...
Although I'm a die hard Metal fan I've always had a soft spot for Hardcore.
Let's face it. If it wasn't for Hardcore there would be no Slayer.
I love the heaviness and the attitude it brought to Metal in the 80's.
So it's no wonder that Vendetta ticked all the right boxes for me when I first saw them.
Hardcore riffs and fucking heavy.
What's not to like about them?
They play a blinding set finished off with a superb cover of Biohazard's 'Punishment'.
To say the venue is near to bursting is an understatement with everyone waiting in eager anticipation for Denounce.
For me, and many others I'm sure, this is the gig of the year.
Since their final gig!
I set my camera to record and hope the two Dave's remember to start the stage cameras whilst I battle my way towards the front.
This I will not be missing!
With an intense atmosphere guitarist Dave Irving starts the show with some fading in and out.
Then the storm starts with 'Bloodied Congregation', one of my favourites.
In fact it used to be my ringtone and I may have to reinstate it!
Following is 'On Cold Skin' and 'Flesh Harvest', the first two tracks off the album 'Deep Wood, Shallow Grave' which, if you haven't got I strongly suggest you get in touch with the band for a copy while they still have some.
By the time they start to play 'Of Ghosts And Shadows' my body is, I kid you not, completely covered in goosebumps.
It felt like someone was not only walking over my grave but they were having a bloody party on it. And it felt GOOD!
'Backwater' (A new one from the old days, if that makes sense?!), 'Together In Sleep' and 'Fire Will Follow' knock the living shit out of everyone.
I don't want this night to end but unfortunately it must.
Dave Irving says a few “Thankyou's” to people and the set is finished with 'Roadkill Christ', one of my favourites from the album if only for it's name which was introduced by a fan named Radu who renamed it 'Radu Kill Christ'!
And with that we get a “Thankyou” and a “Goodnight” leaving a rabid crowd hungry for more.
Surely this can't be over yet?
Thankfully Denounce have more up their sleeve to offer and we are treated to 'Within The House Of Putrid Blood'.
Another quick break and Dave Irving starts to play '… And The Needle is Thread' which is an instrumental intro to 'Sewn Silent' on the EP 'The Art Of Broken Teeth'.
This was truly mesmerising and leads into 'Solace', the final track on the album.
And that was it.
My favourite band from the local scene have played their reunion gig.
Will they play again sometime soon?
Or even a full reformation?
I really hope so.
One or the other is fine by me but preferably a full reformation and seeing them play some more festivals.
Not necessarily the bigger festivals like Bloodstock, where they have played before, but the smaller ones such as Beermageddon or RadFest which are ideal for the genre and the underground scene and support it 100%.
Maybe the organisers of these festivals could invite them to play as special guests?
Or am I living in a dream after seeing them play again?
I hope not.
To end on a positive note, tonight was an absolutely blinding night and one that I, and many others I'm sure, will cherish and have fond memories for a very long time.
I'd like to thank Denounce for doing this and making the night the success it was.
And, of course, Vendetta, Internal Conflict, Immoral Minority and No Last Words.
|Denounce playing to a packed Red Lion. Photo courtesy of Vic Wintergeen.|
The whole gig can be viewed on my YouTube page. I hope you enjoy it and all the other Metal videos on there.
I also have a Facebook page. Please take a look and like and share with your mates!