Ceremony – Camden Underworld

By Andy

*Venue was Purple Turtle, not Underworld as stated above*

I would go as far as to say that hardcore really needs Ceremony.

I missed the opening proceedings of this evening by stupidly thinking that arriving at 7pm would be early enough. But finding myself 200 people back in the queue, it was a slow wait while security let people trickle in. As a result, I made the last 3 tunes from NEVER AGAIN, playing their last London show. Solid and chorus ridden straight up old-school was the order of the day, helped massively by an enthusiastic crowd and a whole lot of emotional scene love. Seems a shame I only caught the last 3 songs of their last London performance. [3.5/5]

Up next were THROATS, heavily represented in the crowd, drunk as hell and blistering 20 minutes of brutality at us whilst seeing 2 of their guitars. This lot have several things going for them that others don?t ? not least an ability to shred fairly hard. Their subtleties were slightly lost on the PA, but the dualled riffs and the incessant screams had a whole lot of bollocks behind them. Over in a flash and maybe over the heads of those who weren?t aware of them before, Throats definitely gave it some. [3.5/5]

Surprise for the evening came in the form of Ceremony tour support SABRETOOTH ZOMBIES. Judging by the suddenly subdued nature of the crowd, only a couple of people seemed familiar with their distinctive style of stoner-riff laced hardcore. It?s hard to describe them, other than as hardcore played by Danzig fans. Heads began to nod and they really captured the imagination of myself and a lot of the other people looking slightly bemused around the packed out Purple Turtle. Special note should go to the singer?s spandex white trousers. Well worth a random check out. [4/5]

And then, the reason a lot of people had come this evening ? CEREMONY. Unexpectedly quietly spoken and polite, they took to the stage and introduced themselves in high, slightly squeaky, Californian tone. They delivered pretty much what was expected ? a scratchy, rough round the edges set, driven by a brutally tight rhythm section and one of the most instantly engaging frontmen in punk, Ross Farrar. Tracks like ?I Want To Put This To An End? had the majority of the crowd hooked and shouting along ? even if it?s usually almost impossible to understand what the fuck the guy is on about ? but then again, this band are all about feel. The sight of their guitarist, shirt-less, painted nails and lipstick, with skinhead 20 stone punks windmilling in front of him was an absolutely beautiful vision. That is the thing, Ceremony combine so much of what is good about so many different genres, putting them into 1 minute bursts of intensity, that they seem to combine a fragmented scene. They, I would suggest, are hardcore gone full circle. Black Flag for the 21st century. I felt privileged to watch. [4.5/5]

Mike Scott