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2006-11-18 GB – London - The Forum

Invited by the Rocksound magazine as a part of their special week NEUROSIS have again confirmed a one and only one-off show in London. Déjà vu! Same city, same venue, same day, just a month back as in 2004 (livereview here), where I witnessed one of the best shows ever seen in my live. Ok, freely interpreting Sokrates: If NEUROSIS don’t want to come to me, I must go to see them ;) So I did and headed over to my beloved isle. Having learned and becoming smarter I attained the location around an hour before the doors should open… and got my nose thumbed (again). This time doors opened a half hour later, but for that no winding queue around two blocks. Just a handful of people were waiting, me too, in a cold evening to freeze my butt off. But bit by bit fans from all corners of the globe arrived to fill The Forum. With a capacity of around 2000 people a half hour to get all these people in was not enough…

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Opening post metal dronescape crew known as CAPRICORNS kicked off the evening in front of a half filled location. The ones who like Neurosis and have missed the Londoner may kick themselves, because: CAPRICORNS were a real surprise! Arisen from such clanships as Orange Goblin, Bridge & Tunnel and Iron Monkey CAPRICORNS could finally present tracks from their debut album Ruder Forms Survive on a bigger stage. In a mix of Doom, Psychedelic, Drone and Sludge, heavy low-tunded guitars got blended in. All without any singing. It’s like older Neurosis (or Pelican alternatively) without singing. These cats operated so intensive and aggressive, bashing with pure riff monsters, loud & low tactics and mesmerizing melodies. Captivating! I just stood there in the photopit and listened. Almost forgot to take photos… Great! Just great! Amazing I tell ya! And why the hell I do not own this fucking record?

While the next band MADE OUT OF BABIES entered the stage I first had to ask to what camp they belong. Easy task: this Brooklyn, New York-based outfit around Julie Christmas (Battle Of Mice) feels home under the roof of Neurot Recordings. In support of their just released album Coward they tour Europe and got together with Neurosis on their London show. To see and to hear Julie Christmas scream, whisper and caterwauling is surely an event and an experience. Wild, shrill and way-out she rampaged the stage, poured whiskey down the throat or even crawled on all fours. Walking the line between all extremes a manic New York girl might be able to offer. However, this was pure staginess, perfectly suiting the music. As the Kerrang recently stated: „Unhinged lullabies for the psychotically deranged“… indeed ;) I guess one must like MADE OUT OF BABIES, otherwise such show is hardly to bear, especially, since the sound was not the best, quite undifferentiated I’d say. Singing was way too low in the beginning. Anyway, I’m still not sure if I liked this show or if I found it just ridiculous. Battle Of Mice I like more…

Then time has come for what the crowded venue was longing for. Californian legends NEUROSIS opened their set with The Tide, a classic from their grandiose record A Sun That Never Sets. And again they presented a great retrospective through their entire history. Except for Left To Wander from current album The Eye of Every Storm, the setlist was completely different compared with the one in 2004. If this one was better… is probably a matter of taste ;) However, best thing was that NEUROSIS presented two brand new songs, which – from the first aural impression – turn out to be heavier and harsher again. As for the rest, there was not too much that has changed over the last 2 years. The hair of bass player Dave Edwardson is micrometers short and the hair from key wiz Noah Landis not blond anymore. Visualizations beamed on a huge screen again were new, mixed with a few ones I still recognize from the show in 2004. At the end of their set Scott Kelly was totally pissed off of something that he banged his forehead bloody on the micro and kicked it down the photopit afterwards. Later he also smashed a mirror in the backstage area. Dunno what happened, but sometimes I cannot help thinking that with Scott Kelly and Steve von Till two artists share stage, which have a little bit of divas inside. Exceptional musicians, great performers, perfectionists but though... short-tempered at times.
The stage itself was again most time as dark as possible what intensified the atmosphere a lot but drove the photographers mad.
Despite of a more than 25 years spanning career NEUROSIS never play just an experienced show. These gents always put all their emotions and feeling into their music. It hurts to see them suffering from imaginary pain, and pleases to see them happy with their music. It always catches the listener, captivates and deeply touches. A NEUROSIS show is an experience, a journey to other spheres, to the inner I, to the edge of being. A NEUROSIS show is always something really special and definitely worth every effort to get them. After 90 minutes of a gooseflesh-creating experience the show was over and the band left the stage with out any vehemently demanded encore, what for sure courted the fans’ resentment.
Now it’s up to us again to wait for the upcoming album, which is already in the recording procedure. I think it will be released around spring. A first live impression (more as the two songs we got tonight) fans will probably get at the Roadburn Festival in April where NEUROSIS headline the Saturday (April 21).
Setlist: The Tide, The Doorway, new song, Cold Ascending, Prayer, new song, Rehumanize, Eye, Left To Wander, Crawl Back In, Times Of Grace

Once again NEUROSIS offered a breath-taking and touching show. The Forum was not sold out this time but crowded though. The band’s merchandise, which is not cheap generally, was damn fucking expensive paid in Pounds. You better order from the States and use the advantageous Dollar price…
The evening’s happening was over at 11pm and the security hurrying to get the people out. Ok, more time to party ;) That actually resulted in the fact that I overslept the Scott Kelly solo gig at the Borderline… (not to mention all the other shows that were going on in London on Sunday evening)


story & pics © Dajana