7 Seconds / Madball / H2O
6th August 2012
It’s safe to say that London feels like a pretty special place to be this Monday evening, a line up of this calibre is the stuff most festivals are made of and not a regular night in the subterranean confines of the Underworld. Each of these hardcore heavy hitters is capable of headlining this place on their own so it comes as no surprise that the venue is packed to the gills and the sold out sign is up on the door.
H2O are billed here tonight as the rather obvious ‘Thicker Than Water’ and are a last minute addition to this already strong bill. The NYHC posi-core outfit are as entertaining as ever, vocalist Toby Morse bounces from left to right as they tear through ‘1995’, ‘F.T.T.W.’ and ‘Fair Weathered Friend’ oozing PMA from every pore. You have to love hardcore back slapping and both Madball and 7 Seconds are given their props tonight as H2O rip out covers of ‘Pride’ and ‘Satyagraha’ respectively.
Next up are old school bruisers Madball, front man Freddy Cricien inciting the now heaving crowd on the Underworlds floor. For forty five minutes they stomp with an anger and energy that’d put their younger contemporaries to shame. A set culled from their whole back catalogue is delivered with venom tonight, ‘We The People’, ‘Spit On Your Grave’ and ‘Set It Off’ are a steamroller of riffs and beatdowns that incite the crowd into whirling dervishes. Cricien leaves the stage to rapturous applause, sweat dripping from his shit eating grin.
You have to pity any band that has to follow the runaway train that was Madball, this is something 7 Seconds vocalist Kevin Seconds acknowledges as the Californian melodic hardcore four piece take the stage to a slightly diminished audience. Undeterred the four piece rip through a set of classics including ‘The Crew’ and ‘In Your Face’ that soon get the remaining crowd whipped up into a suitably moshing mood. Their faster, melodic take on punk a welcome tonic to Madball testosterone fuelled set. All in all this was a stonking night of hardcore royalty from the old to newer school, from speed to crunch, that shows that this movement is as alive and well as it has ever been.
Words: Miles Hackett