Date: 12th Mar 2017
Lineup: Mortiis, <PIG>, Seraph Sin
Venue: Think Tank?, Newcastle-upon-Tyne
Nothing quite comes close to the dungeon synthpop shaman shit Mortiis had going on back in 2001. People shit themselves over his Era I stuff and constantly decry his Era III/0 work as being 'crap' (which it's not... I'm just saying).
But little do people speak of Era II! The Smell of Rain. An absolutely glorious album. The comments on Era II songs are usually "where's my dungeon music" or "this is embarrassing" but the truth of the matter is that people can't appreciate campy witch doctor music when they hear it, and that's the bottom line.
I'm not sure who the real headliner of this one is. It says that <PIG> are co-headlining with Mortiis, and each night they'd swap who takes the role of the main act. Tonight, it was Mortiis.
Now, I'm here for <PIG>. I had a Facebook at this time, and was part of a group for <PIG> that included Watts himself in it. I also met a guy on there who had asked whether anybody would be going VIP at the Newcastle gig. It ended up just being us two. As a matter of fact, I think it was only us two that had came to see <PIG> in the first place. One other guy had entered the gig in a black metal shirt of some description and left the venue in a <PIG> shirt. Mr Other-VIP would end up inviting me to an industrial/new wave night he held every month with his friends in the backroom of a pub, which would consist of a laptop rigged up to some speakers, strobe lights, and a bunch of 35+ year-old guys and girls getting hammered while Gary Numan was playing on full blast. Stories for another time, I suppose.
We were invited into the venue early and basically just hung out with Raymond Watts and the rest of the <PIG> lineup for like, a good 45 minutes at the bar. A pint and a good chinwag. You can't ask for more. It felt less like meeting a legend in the music scene and more like meeting a family friend you haven't seen in years. I think he's just got one of those personalities.
He was also gobsmacked by how young I was. I was 18 at the time, but looked 12 so I guess it hit him harder. Bless him. I suppose looking around the audience later I was probably the youngest there. I got some things signed, a highlight being my Wrecked CD.
En Esch and Günter Schulz are there too. Really sweet guys. The photos I had taken with them are fucking hilarious but I'm not in the business of face-posting here.
As for the actual gig, Seraph Sin were cool. I got a setlist of theirs. Unfortunately they suffered from first-band-playing-so-the-audience-is-dead syndrome, which makes it a lot more difficult to enjoy what's going on.
<PIG> -- really fucking good show. Crowd was deceased and I wasn't drunk enough to be dancing so it was a little bit awkward. I had a great time though.
Occasionally En Esch would look up at me and his eyes would pierce through my head.
As for Mortiis, I was expecting a lanky man with goblin ears to meander onto the stage and warble for a bit, but received a dreadlocked man in bare feet, covered in all kinds of paint and dirty clothing. I didn't see the setlist at any point, but I do know they opened with Decadent & Desperate. It was just a highly energetic, industrial rock set. Played NOTHING from The Smell of Rain, though. Dickheads.
To round this one off, here's a shirt I got. The VIP pack was a cute tote bag with vinyl stickers, a copy of The Redeemer (an exclusive EP which is, uh, alright?), and a pin badge. Raymond modelled the tote bag for me. He looked better with it slung over his shoulder than I did, so fuck him.
I could post pics of the VIP package contents but I'm gonna be honest, there's enough photos here. I'm tired. You know what a goddamn tote bag looks like.