General | dragSTER | Thoria: Coventry Roadhouse – live review
General, dragSTER, Thoria
6th February 2015
Coventry’s finest on the same stage on the same night! Louder Than War weren’t going to miss this one. A night of brilliant Alt- Rock, Punk madness and Stoned Rock Brilliance. Adrian Bloxham reviews the night below;
Three Quid, less than a pint, three quid for stoner classic rock of General is a bargain, throw in the utter madness and chaos of dragSTER too and you know that it’s going to get messy. The Roadhouse used to be the hardest pub in Coventry. You didn’t go anywhere near it if you knew what was good for you, things have changed, a bonefide rocker refuge in the City centre while everything else is going to the dogs. The deejay is having a laugh, messing with my head, the Stooges merge into Motorhead and then the Kennedys, he plays Black Flag and Jesus it rocks.
The place is full, full of Coventry’s worst and maddest, old and new punks, tattoos and quiffs, long hairs and stoners, all trying to get to the bar, all looking as cool as fuck. The first thing I do is ask General’s guitarist how the hell they are going to follow dragSTER on stage? He doesn’t seem to know and I feel the same. This night kicks it all expectations out of the window.
First band on are Thoria, here’s where I try and describe their sound, except I can’t. The guitarist is wearing a judges wig and when I talk to him later he enthuses his love for Captain Beefheart, that won’t help you with describing them though, my scribbled notes written with a broken biro say that it’s like every alt-rock band you ever loved and played to death have been mashed together and left to fester in a pit. They have a song that sounds a bit Country Rock and another that’s Alt-Stadium fare. They start slow and get better, definitely worth a couple of quid next time they’re around.
By now the place is buzzing, tattooed punkettes approach the stage and hug Fi dragster, who is as sweet and self-effacing as ever. Until she steps on stage.
DragSTER pull out everything, they play like people demented. From the first hardcore growl sung by the bassist until the last moment Fi screams ‘Dead Punk’ into your face it’s an absolute triumph. The new guitarist stays back from the front of the stage but mashes it into pieces. Deizel just immerses himself into the sound and Fi, well what can you say, drop dead gorgeous and looking like she wants to kill you; how she can sing like staggers me. The sound is way louder than anything I’ve heard for a good while and it bloody fits, at one point it all meshes into a hard wall of noise and I smile, sometimes this is all you need. Fi introduces ‘Death by a Thousand Cuts’ with ‘Fuck David Cameron, Fuck the Tories and Fuck Austerity!’ before launching herself off the stage into the audience yet again. Before their last song Fi praises the existence of Viva Le Rock, Big Cheese and Louder Than War for continuing to write and push forward Punk when everywhere else seems to have forgotten about it. They then play the song of the night, ‘Dead Punk’, it fucking kills. It’s like Punk Rock grew up, got a job then had a snotty, bratty kid who rebelled against it by doing the same thing all over again, but better. Catch dragSTER, right now, seriously.
So how the Hell do you follow that? Well, I’ll tell you. You get up, plug in and play the heaviest, groove ridden triumphantly stoned rock you can. You play it so heavy and so loud that you break the sodding PA and your singer sounds like he is on helium. As Dave says early on ‘And it was all going so well…’ When they cut through the problems and the technical bollocks they slam into Better Dead and the place vibrates, it cuts through the bollocks and the guitars mash you into the wall. By now my biro had stopped working completely, had been thrown away and I was far too busy getting a groove on to write anything down. They just rock, hard and long with space for breath. General make me move.
I then lost everyone while agreeing to deejay a night along with the delinquent behind the decks, my head was spinning and my ears buzzed way into the next day. What more could you want from a night out.
All words by Adrian Bloxham, you can read more from Adrian at his author archive.
All pictures by Martin Ward