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Live Review : Combichrist
Northumbria Univeristy, Newcastle
With rumours rife about what the “Evolution of Combichrist” tour is going to involve (if you’re planning on seeing them and don’t want spoilers, maybe read this another day) and much speculation and optimism going around the venue in the build up. Well, only a few more hours to wait as there’s 3 support bands to get through first -
Deadfilmstar rattle though their brief appearance early in the night. Tours with Mortiis and Gothminister seem to have rubbed off on their style – gritty, grotty and nasty. Great.
Surgyn make a few friends, well, a few more friends as their reputation is growing quickly. It’s unsurprising, energetic surgical beats, with the Dundee duo making full use of the large stage to bounce around. Like a cross between Katscan and Angelspit they pump life into tonight’s party.
Jayce Lewis is tonight’s wild card. Jayce who?! being the pre-gig calls. They shift a lot of records in Asia but probably aren’t that well known in their native Wales. Gary Numan ranks them highly and it’s no wonder. The effort that has gone into the production is almost unheard of for a support band, they have video screens and everything. But the music, well, you can tell he worships at the temple of Numan and he probably likes to spin his Nine Inch Nails a bit. In a Dominion interview with Gary Numan he said he’d love to work with Trent – the result of that would probably sound like Jayce Lewis, though maybe not as good.
When Combichrist took to the stage there was a lot of confusion in the crowd. Apart from long term fans. Long term fans ‘squee’d’ with delight. Along with Andy, there’s only original member Shaun Frandsen on-stage when they belt out opening number ‘Intruder Alert’. It’s possibly been a large number of years since that was last in the set.
As the set goes on they add more and more live members to the stage whilst working through the era’s of the band. This does turn things into a ‘hits’ set in ways and the setlist has fans from all phases of the band drooling.
With two sets of percussion onstage, in addition to the drumkit and beats in the mix, it was always going to be carnage and they do not fail to deliver.
With brutal electro madness, now adopting closer to the industrial-metal side of things, they are unafraid to crush down with the solid tracks of steel.
They are a band attracting more mainstream interest and with a growing reputation and have a proven killer live set, but tonight it’s good to look back at how far they’ve come over the years; the journey through time attracts many attendees to gasp, “Best gig, evah!”
Not bad for a band who was originally only a side project.