Monday, September 16, 2002

Mayhem. Nobody Got Shot.

Hi Fi Bar & Ballroom

Apart from Collingwood, the ABC and the Detroit Red Wings, I barrack for Black Metal. It’s not like I listen to the stuff religiously. No I don’t kick back by putting on my favourite Bathory record on the stereo and fire up by stabbing to death a couple of poor bass players on Wellington Street. Burning churches isn’t my bag either. But I do like really bloody loud music. I admire guys who scream their guts out on stage. And I especially like my Black Metal to involve pigs heads and blokes to happily swim in blood. It’s all good stuff. I don’t even mind the satan finger sign, all metal kids lurrve. And I love Norway.

Had a Norwegian housemate once. His name was Trond. Trond was a top bloke but Black Metal from his homeland failed to give him any of that famous Norwegian wood. Pity. Me and Trond could have talked for hours about it. We didn’t. Oh well.

Mayhem are the most notorious of Norway’s Black Metal bands. Well, what’s left of them. Mayhem’s is the simple Black Metal story, a story so typical to many indie pop bands I won’t mention. You know the deal: line up changes, suicide, murder, bad bass players, electro music side projects (bad of course), murder, fights, isolation, jail, church burning, Nazi sympathies, blood, acne, domestic cat hunting, corpse paint, blokes called Aarseth, Hellhammer, Dead and Euronymous. Read Lords Of Chaos by Michael Moynihan and Didrik Soderlind to find out more. A top read.

Back to the metal. Unfortunately I couldn’t see any of the local support bands. Yeah, I was waiting on a mate to come back from a dubious prior engagement. Way after 11pm he pulls out (or should I say wimps out) and I have to go to see Mayhem by myself. Going to gigs without mates can be a bit hard and uninspiring but going out to a metal show can seem like a nightmare. But do you know what? It isn’t. Just like at Cradle of Filth last year, the Mayhem crowd were, while mean lookin’, quite a friendly bunch. I won’t say Mummy’s boys but I will say that quite a few looked like they fold their socks before putting them in the front drawer. There were quite a few black leather clad young ladies and yes, a couple screamed like in the olden days. “Look at Maniac. Nice facepaint. Great body!” Yep, I heard it. There were only a couple of fans who took the trouble to apply face paint. My fave was the guy who painted himself up in full corpse paint with the most incredible of Black Metal frowns I’ve ever seen. He didn’t even crack a grin when Mayhem played the all time fave anthem Pure Fucking Armageddon on encore. Poor guy. There were also a few men without any hair enjoying the show. I was watching one of them shooting out a hand signal which didn’t look too much like a goat’s head. I think it was either a “We need more on the fold back,” or a “He was this tall” symbol. At least he was having fun.

Despite not doing much with the pig’s head (come on, I’ve seen guys fuck those on stage before, lift yer’ game), and not cutting themselves with the barbed wire wrapped around the mike stand, Mayhem rocked. While all members looked like they lacked fitness, they belted out a pretty hard arsed set. Just don’t ask me what they played. I was too busy barracking. Carn’ the Black Metal! Stick it right up ‘em Norway!

- Glenn “I’m Going To Start A Metal Band Called Turetz Sindrome” Peters