At the historic 100 Club on Tuesday night the 16th of July, a whole bunch of hot yet frenetic metal fans congregated for Valient Thorr’s only UK date on their European tour. We arrived, well lubricated by a few ice cold Budvars at Crobar just down the road, just in time to catch UK doom outfit Hang The Bastard.
The band was immediately on form, running around and thrashing out riffs with the kind of energy that comes from a serious amount of passion for the subject- which is dangerous business with the size of the stage at the 100 Club! We were treated with a selection of what to expect from their new album, Sex in the Seventh Circle, and the crowd were wishing they had time to play more than their 5 song set list.
It was so refreshing to hear a band whose vocals perfectly complement the sound, and don’t fight with the guitars for the attention. This is exactly what lead vocalist Tomas Hubbard delivered, and his deep growl accentuated the driving riffs powered by guitarist Sam Rice- who literally never stopped moving, even in between songs. Bassist Joe Nally bought a groove to the madness, and his supporting vocals added aggression and power throughout. Holding together this absolute mayhem with some obscene rhythm was drummer Simon Grubb, who I am sure was drenched with sweat within the first 10 seconds of opening track Keeping Vigil as he drove the set forwards.
By the end of the set, I was soaked with most of my pint and couldn’t stand still – if you get the chance to catch these guys, make the effort to go as I’m sure you won’t be disappointed. Their new album is due out in Europe on September 22nd through SOAR/ Century Media, and you can keep up to date with their song teases through their social media.
Hang The Bastard's Set List was:
Beyond the Pale
Sex in the Seventh Circle
After a swift round at the bar, headliners Valient Thorr stormed onto the stage with the sounds of what one attendee coined as “Hillbilly Metal”. Regardless of genre, their energy was incredibly impressive. The five piece hailing from Venus (or North Carolina, if you want to be pedantic) instantly got the crowd moving with an intriguingly rockabilly flash through a heavier metal sound.
Now this is a band who knows how to perform to the crowd - they have been part of the Warped Tour, played at Download and even supported Motorhead on their North American tour leg. This was evident at the 100 club, with frontman Valient Himself shaking those at the front and jumping into the crowd to get everyone to sit down and row a Viking boat during one of the heavier breakdowns. The rest of the band (aptly named Eidan Thorr, Sadat Thorr, Lucian Thorr and randomly Dr Professor Nitewolf Strangees) were incredibly tight, with the southern rock feel twinged with sexy little riffs and a relentless rhythm from the drums and bass.
It was the lyrics, and the interlude banter between songs, that really caught my attention however. They drive a strong political message that gets you thinking about what is happening in the world- with a good splash of humour thrown in. With a lot of metal bands these days talking absolute gibberish in their songs, it was great to get the old beer-soaked brain working and the lyrics were clever enough to get the message across without sounding preachy. Hilarious stories recounted in between songs made the crowd really connect with the band, and at the end they got everyone on stage for a collective Thorr selfie.
Now I would definitely go and see these guys again, however as previously mentioned this was their only UK date. They are, however, playing SEVEN shows in Germany- which shows how much more popular they are there then here. Therefore, if you listen to them and you like them, post on their social media, email their press, speak to your local promoters and let’s get them back here. They bring one hell of a party.
No set list available- they were too busy gallivanting around Europe, drinking beer and taking pictures of robot gardeners to send one through!