(6 Years of Multipleks!) The Truth, Helltard, Sugar Coated Mindbombs, Rogier, Leiden 13/18/12

The glowering tower block near Leiden station, a veritable blot on the landscape for the authorities was transformed – for one evening only - into an impromptu centre for all things Carnival and Saturnine.

 

Six years of Multipleks? That long? Must be. The last time there was a party here, things got so heady that Incendiary found themselves the proud though baffled owner of a cabbage. But that’s another story. Tonight revealed no vegetables ripe for repatriation in the building, but we had a very fine looking array of vegetarian and vegan snacks and – if you could face it – all night bingo upstairs. Downstairs, the SUB071 basement was geared up for some hot noise action with Sugar Coated Mindbombs, Rogier, (moonlighting here as Peter Faber Inferno) and Serbian thrash punk courtesy of The Truth and Helltad. (Apologies should be sent out to Captain Slow – we’ll catch you next time, we promise). The glowering tower block near Leiden station, a veritable blot on the landscape for the authorities was transformed – for one evening only - into an impromptu centre for all things Carnival and Saturnine.

Incendiary walked into SUB to hear Sugar Coated Mindbombs crank out their noise. Their splendid EP, SUPERSTORAGEMOTHERFUCKER, (their Caps not mine), has given them a new lease of life it seems; this was possibly the most energetic and well, committed I’ve seen them. For sure they’ve always knocked out an absolute racket and been one of the most inspiring live bands I’ve seen since I moved to Holland, but this gig was on another plane entirely. The drummer hammered their sound into a more regimented space; and bassist Michel responded by pulling out a richer, darker and more brutal sound from his bass. As a consequence the sound wasn’t so diffused or spacey, rather it sounded like a jet plane taxiing on a runway before a soaring take off. The punk element was much more to the fore. As was the pace, the tempo never seemed to dip and the duo built up a ridiculously goofy head of punk steam – this was closer to Iggy than anything art school. A brilliant show from a rejuvenated band.

After this we had a marvellous gig from a girl with a ukulele: her songs were beautiful and her voice was clear as a bell and her presence was charm itself, but I have no idea what she was called. She had something of an impish presence and a confidence that stopped anything becoming too precious. There was something of a Joni Mitchell vibe about her too, in the way she set up her songs, but a perky, cheeky Mitchell, one who’s happy having a laugh. Who was she? (update - she's known as Shireen)

It was plainly time for bingo and dancing to dodgy tunes before returning downstairs; this time to take in Helltard, who are a grindcore band from deepest Serbia. Helltard are four blokes, none in the first flush of youth but none the worse for that. They gave it absolute screaming hell for a good 40 minutes; building up a rich and powerful sound that was backed by a tremendous rhythm section. It was an exhilarating gig, loud, committed, and brutally straight down the line. The singer’s deadpan presence between his atonal bursts of screaming and grunting was also great theatre, though I’m sure I was the only one amongst the moshing crowd who could be cottoning on to this. I always find it difficult to write about grindcore or thrashcore, I’m not an initiate in its mysteries but suffice to say this was a steaming gig.I also think that sans culottes can only be worn by members of grindcore bands. They’re the only ones who can get away with it.

After more bingo and dancing we got The Truth – also from Serbia - more of a punk band with a committed, open attitude that was hard not to love. Their singer, a big lad, again in shorts – bounced around like a puppy – mixing the up-tempo shuddering riffs his band were churning out with moments of blind screaming rage and funny cartoon gestures. It was a fantastic gig. A couple of speeches about being one world were thrown in between more thumping punk goodness. A band to check out, we feel: regardless of your knowledge of Serbo-Croat. More bingo, more dancing and then we readied ourselves for Rogier, aka Peter Faber Inferno whose metallic assault at WORM at the Rotterdam Ultra night in March still haunts those who saw it. A lot of fiddling about in SUB’s basement meant we got a slow start and just as Rogier’s pitching started to kick in they blew the amp up. Poetic justice, but they recovered enough to complete an okay gig that wasn’t quite the assault it should have been. Their vibe is deeply subliminal - there’s a lot going on when you give this sound time – the thing is, I can totally understand why seeing two blokes with pitch vocals and the deepest, trashiest, most iron-clad of metallic bass sounds can drive most punters up the wall. It’s gonzo musique of the highest order and we dig it. Only then, suitably deaf and staggering slightly (too much bingo can wreck your health) did Incendiary stumble in to the warm Leiden night. Top do.