Retox – CAMP Basement, London

By Tom Aylott


It’s always great to check out a new venue in an area that you find yourself in at the weekend far too often and, despite the outhouse style male toilets and somewhat limited choices at the bar, CAMP Basement carries that special “shithole charm” that stops shows such as tonight feeling a bit soulless like so many venues in the capital have the propensity to do.

For the second time in a row, the venue’s lovely and full of people for the start of the gig, and first up at tonight’s triple headed Pink Mist collective venture is PETTYBONE, who are most definitely at their best when they dig their teeth into heavier material. With influences ranging across a wide range of the heavier end of modern punk, the band do seem to find it hard to find a stylistic center, but when vocalist Amy piles on the screams, they’re great to watch.

Next is TROPICS, featuring members of the sorely missed MEET ME IN ST LOUIS, who make light work of being the meat in tonight’s mathy sandwich. Despite the fact their current line up hasn’t released a damn thing (there’s an album incoming), the material sounds well formed and interesting, and has enough balance of melody and pace to make them one to check out as soon as possible.

Finally, tonight’s headliners RETOX make sure to keep things heavy as shit for the rest of the evening. As much fun as elongated, epic rock songs are, there’s just something about bands that largely keep every song below 2 minutes and just get shit done. Though Retox probably wont take home any prizes for being an earth shatteringly original hardcore band, they’re certainly fantastic to watch live, and as interesting as many similar bands getting far higher levels of attention at the moment. If you’re into hardcore that turns up, continually batters your ear drums in short bursts and fucks off, you could do far worse than Retox.


For more photos of Retox, head to our Photos section.