Growing up, I remember a turning point in my life when I discovered the song Thumper by Raging Speedhorn on MTV. At that time, the most extreme bands I was listening to was Slipknot and even if double bass drums were very appealing to me, I didn’t know what hardcore and extreme metal were. Even if Raging Speedhorn’s shows didn’t seem very appealing to my scrawny self since you could end up being beaten up for no reason (according to the video), the music and the vocals had something in them that I not heard before and that I wanted to hear more.
Living in France, I didn’t have much occasion to see Raging Speedhorn live anyway, but I am sure most of the people at the Underworld had and did considering that most attendees were thirty somethings coming back to see their favorite band from their teenage years. The band onstage were not much younger either with the singer from Gurt admitting proudly that his seventeen year old self would be amazed to be onstage with these underground legends. Speedhorn‘s influence could still be heard in his band’s music with its mix of rock and roll sludge. A solid performance to introduce one of the best band to mix hardcore and sludge together.
Even though the original line up of the band has been back together for more than a year (they reunited in February 2014), i feared that this was going to be one of those « I finally saw them live » show where you just end up crossing a line on your mental diary rather than having a good time. Thankfully, it wasn’t the case as Speedhorn’s still got everything that made them great. The dual vocal attack from John Loughlin and Frank Reagan is in fine form, and as charismatic as ever, and the low end provided by bassist Dave Thompson and drummer Gordon Morrison was heavy and loud enough to make the song as punishing as on record.
Set list wise, the show focused on songs from the first two albums, admittedly their best ones, with the addition of one new, and decent, good song. In fact, even if most people were here to hear the old shit, the new song was welcomed by a bouncy and welcoming pit, proving that there is still some sort of future for Raging Speedhorn. Despite the two false start, the show was excellent from start to finish with just one hour of music with more than ten tracks played, some surprises (Superscud, Knives and faces) and more expected ones (The Gush, Thumper, The hate song, Fuck the voodoo man). But, even after the last riffs of High whore was played, the most rabid bands were asking for more and the band had to come back on stage, but not before the elder statesman of the night, Ben Ward from Orange Goblin, came on-stage to remind the public that Raging Speedhorn were « the kings of the UK underground ». A bold statement that somewhat still felt true after all these years. The band then pulled their way through Iron cobra despite seemingly being in rehearsal mode and ended the night on a more friendly note than what their first music video showed. The tough guy attitude is gone, long live the riffs.