I snuck into London last night to see Five Finger Death Punch at The Forum in Kentish Town. Curiously Kentish Town didn’t look as Kent-like as the name implies. Here’s a power station viewed from the fast train from Ebbsfleet to St Pancras [who was a Roman convert to Christianity and beheaded for his belief].
I had a pleasant walk from the London terminus to The Forum, about 40 minutes, and waited in The Assembly Rooms for Smith. Once he had arrived we chatted and ate. The queues to enter the auditorium were large, but gave us time to digest the contents of the flyers we were handed before discarding them in the traditional manner.
The first band on were called Pop Evil. They played ROCK. It was ok. Not to my current tastes but they were a good warm up band.
Then, on came Upon A Burning Body. A band from Texas. They played pretty good music although I couldn’t understand most of what the singer sang. This didn’t worry me, I don’t really do lyrics. Although I wouldn’t go out of my way to see this band again they were pretty good over all. I liked the suits they wore.
During their set all the lights stopped working and they carried on while lit from torches held by security and the guys in the “desk-in-the-middle”. The pit opened up in front of me and it was quite funny to see this close. Young men running in circles and generally pushing into each other. The atmosphere was one of comradeship as when someone fell down after being hit, they would be helped up by everybody. I saw a couple of rugby tackles and at some point it turned into a competition to see who would be the last man standing. Then, it went wrong. A short tubby man decided he was going to hit with his hands. He threw a punch and got warned to stop by most in and around the circle. He had gone too far. You don’t intentionally hit people in this small world of machismo. Then he threw another punch, caught a chap on the chin and stood gloating. About five guys rushed at him, pushing him to the floor and then two of them dragged the guy to the side and security. I didn’t see him again. As much as most people would look in horror at “the pit” it’s actually a safe place where, if you accept the rules, you will be looked after and everyone has the same needs.
Five Finger Death Punch burst onto the stage playing “Under and Over It”. There was energy and excitement. They played well and have a good stage presence. I was really impressed at Download last year and so was looking forward to this. They played songs. I don’t know the names of the songs. I just recognise them. I’m pretty sure my head is full up and can’t learn new song names. Also, the way I listen to music has changed. I no longer sit in my bedroom staring and the record sleeve, I play music while running, driving or working.
It was a solid gig. They played well. They played 3 ballads too many. I hate ballads. The atmosphere gets lost and the energy of the room fades during ballads. Also, as a rock child of the eighties, ballads were how bands promoted themselves. They had their place but are not necessary anymore.
The set finished at 22:30. This made the FFDP stage time about seventy minutes which was rather short. I was hoping to hear four more hard and heavy songs when the houselights went up. I was left feeling a little disappointed. They didn’t quite “bring the house down” in my opinion. A big problem for me was the singing of the chorus to Champagne Supernova by Oasis. I never liked Oasis. I think they wrote poor songs, sang badly and were hyped in a battle with a group of real intelligent people who could write songs. Don’t be a metal band and then play some Oasis. They were shit. It’s shit and it makes you shit.