Live Reviews

Burning Heads – Live

Le Ferralleur, Nantes

Tonight’s gig is at a neat venue in renovated buildings on the old Nantes quayside, and is billed as ‘Punk Rock vs. Electro’ with two bands and a bunch of DJ’s spinning a mix of hip hop, drum and bass and break beats… complete with video projections.

After some action from the turntables, first band on is Nevrotic Explosion from Rennes, a five piece who take a few songs to settle in, but hammer out a decent set of Rise Against influenced melodicore with big and hoary Sick Of it All styled choruses. Not bad at all…

More DJ’s, including an amusing session from a guy that lays down his jams to some visuals from the film Psycho and live footage of Alice Cooper, and it works!

Both bands are playing two sets, and Burning Heads are up next for the first of theirs. What’s to say about Burning Heads… since the early Nineties these guys from Orleans have been the guiding lights of the French punk scene, relentlessly touring nationally and internationally, releasing nine albums (including two on Epitaph) plus numerous splits, and carving out a whole network of venues in France and constantly supporting homegrown bands.

This set is of “slow stuff” with a bulk of material from their new release “Opposite2” and its predecessor (from 2001) “Opposite” where they indulge in their love of Reggae/Dub/Scratching and generally taking things down a notch or two, to great effect I might add, and proving you don’t have to play at a 100miles an hour to get over powerful music. The bass sound particularly from JYB is super heavy, and adds extra weight to the likes of “Comrad” “Synaptic Warfare” and the excellent “The River” which hadn’t stuck out on the CD until hearing them ramp-it-up live.

More DJ’s and cold Kronenburg’s… then Nevrotic Explosion return, crowd are more charged and so are the band, much more energised set, including a solid reprise of “What’s My Name” by The Clash… back in the stoneage that song on a treasured compilation tape a school mate did me, and whenever I hear it I expect it to be followed by “Monochrome Set” by the Monochrome Set. Fuckin’ weird what the brain retains isn’t it…

Really good set from (I think) DJ Le Clown that has punters and the Burning crew all out on the dance floor… and the BH guys then climb on to the stage and plug in for a solid 60minutes of their trademark melodic SoCal inspired skatecore and tracks than encompass their lengthy back catalogue, notably the “One With the Flames” “Escape” “Taranto” albums and last years “Bad Time for Human Kind”.

There’s even a juiced up “Fuck You (fuck you) One and All” from ’96’s “Super Modern World” and the ace “Reaction” from ’94’s “Dive”. They are such a tight unit, and the songs pump out seamlessly. To close there’s a blistering rendition of the mighty Adolescents anthem “No Way” that prompts a mini stage invasion and mass sing-a-longs…. killer.

Pete Craven