Blood Duster @ The Camden Underword, London, 25/06/05

On the 25th of June, 2005, controversial Australian grinders Blood Duster played their debut show in London, the meat in a sandwich of a bill filled by four European black metal bands (two panda painted bands before them, two clown faced Satan-obsessed shriekers after).

And due to a chain of Snafus and Fugazis, I arrived just in time to hear lead singer Tone Bone (looking surprising like Rob Halford) introduce DFF, the single off their last album, and the last song of their set.

‘DAMMIT!’ I screamed to no-one in particular, ‘This isn’t going to look good!’

So, I hear you ask, can anything memorable happen or any deep impression be made during the space of song?  Judge for yourself:

Descending from the World’s End pub to the staging area of The Underworld (a great name for a metal venue if ever there was) I was immediately assaulted by the rumbling bass, roaring vocals and swinging detuned guitar riffs. DFF is less in the mold of a grindcore song as it is a drunken hard rock anthem with growling vocals, huge drums and an even bigger chorus.

But the thing that really got my attention was the spectacle:  Onstage was five sweaty Australians, all splattered with blight red fake blood and stripped to the waist. With the exception of bassist Jason PC.  He wasn’t stripped to the waist, oh no.

He was naked. Covering his modesty with his bass.  His persplex bass. Which he lifted over his head at the the end of the song.  Blood Duster are not noted for being shrinking violets.  In fact, flowers really don’t spring to mind at all.

The band swaggered the length and breadth of the stage like suburban thugs, energy and arrogance personified. Wild stage diving ensued. The front row wrested with with Tone Bone  for the microphone to shout the chorus. The rest of the band shouted along anyway.

All to soon it was over (I know, I know, I should have got there on time).  The powerchords faded out, the drum rolls ground to a halt and the band swaggered off stage.

The next two bands would play to a diminished crowd, their turgid black metal sounding thin and joyless (and believe me, I love black metal).  Bored punters would wander back to the bar, some to the toilets to wash the fake blood off their faces.

In Australia the debate would still rage: Are Blood Duster postmodern pranksters or old school misogynists?

In London the only questions being asked were What the fuck was that? And why weren’t they headlining?