Destruction, Onslaught - Nottingham, England, 14th November 2007

Event: Destruction: UK & Ireland Tour
Written by: Baz Anderson
Published: 16.11.2007

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Destruction, Onslaught - Nottingham, England, 14th November 2007 by Baz Anderson (22)
The 14th of November and this was supposed to be the sixth day into the Destruction and Onslaught U.K. and Ireland tour, just, the tour was originally never supposed to reach Nottingham soil at all. The Old Angel Inn, Nottingham, a small friendly pub with a tiny venue upstairs for small, local bands was never supposed to be a destination for the English and German thrash veterans on this night, but sometimes things have a funny way of working out.



During the night I was approached by a certain, very neighbourly Sy Keeler, of course singer for the English thrash war horse Onslaught, and I was told of just how many setbacks, and how unfortunate this tour had been so far. The original opening band Rasta had to pull out of the tour as their manager was involved in the recent Decapitated bus crash, there were also false statements made declaring the Manchester and Leeds dates to be cancelled which was untrue. Someone important to the tour, I can't remember exactly who he said, apparently disappeared and left the tour hanging, and also a few days prior to this certain date the Liverpool show was actually cancelled. A phone call was made and at very, very short notice the Destruction and Onslaught tour was set to make its bestial invasion of Nottinghamshire grounds.

This show was not advertised as it was organised at such short notice, some regular punters from the bar may also have been absent due to the popular band the Foo Fighters also playing in Nottingham the same night. At the time of talking to Sy, just before Onslaught took to the stage, there were apparently just 17 paying customers at the show, the bands and crew outnumbered the paying audience. However during the course of the night numbers did seem to rise, and because of the nature of the show, this made sure that the only people at the show were the true heavy metal fans of Nottingham, with the exception of myself and my friend who found about the date the day before and travelled over an hour for this truly unique experience.

After sitting, relaxed in the bar for quite a while we eventually decided to travel up the stairs to see if the show had started yet. After paying our £6 to get in for these three bands we found ourselves standing in the relatively empty venue room with English metallers, and opening band Amenti half way through their performance. They play metal with strong thrash metal influences, but although having a few moments when things picked up a bit the set was rather bland and uninteresting.

A while later, and after the short chat with Sy where he also disclosed he has this very website, Metal Storm, in his favourites on his computer, Onslaught were set up and ready to take the stage. The room was inhabited by roughly 25 or 30 audience members but the set never seemed to have any quiet moments at all. The people that were in there were true, real metallers, some that seemingly knew every word of the Onslaught songs, all of us in there were passionate about metal and we were not going to let the lack of a large audience put a dampener of the show one bit.



If we were not shouting along to the classic "Metal Forces" or joining in of the "burn! burn! burn!" of a new song "Burn" us right in front of the stage were letting the hair fly all over the place to the 100% fast, pounding thrash metal that was in front of us. The size of the stage, the size of the room all made it feel although this was a show in our home's front room, this was the definition of an intimate metal show. Both new and old songs found their way into the set, "Killing Peace" and the Exodus-like cutting edge of "Twisted Jesus" from the new album and of course the great "Onslaught (Power From Hell)" to close the set left us all having witnessed a truly fantastic thrash attack.



Setlist:



Eventually it was cracked brain o' clock and after the addition of some stage lights and a smoke machine it was time for the German thrash gods Destruction to take to the little rising of the floor, also known as the stage. Straight into "Curse The Gods" and we knew they meant business. At most there was probably 50 onlookers in this small room, but there was no mistaking that we were all there for thrash metal quality that was on the menu for the night, Destruction inparticular. each individual of the small audience all played their part in the show - I doubt anyone in the room was not screaming "nailed to the fucking cross!" which got the adrenaline pumping higher than before in the night.



Like Onslaught did, Destruction thanked us all for coming out at such short notice, inbetween songs Schmier would talk to us as if we were all known friends from his home town the way we had raised the roof of this venue with so little amount of people there. He continued and told us that it didn't matter if they were playing in front of just a few people or a thousand people as long as everyone was having a good time and they were too. He told us that they were having a great time, and from what Sy had told me about the rather muted show in Leeds the previous day, I got the impression that this small show was the highlight of the tour so far.



The show was played almost to perfection, both newer and older material sounding as fresh as ever. The main reason for me going was the amazing performance they put on at Wacken a few months back, and that has a setlist comprised of fan's requests - and this setlist did not deviate much from that! "The Butcher", "Death Trap", "Total Desaster" (sic), "The Butcher Strikes Back" and of course the intense "first hit they had back in '85" - "Bestial Invasion" to top things off. The audience were lacking in size but again we never let there be a quiet moment during the set. A few of us people standing just behind the monitors in front of the stage were again letting the hair get its extreme air mileage and behind us a number of people had a moshpit going on. There was nothing to complain about from the show at all.



It all sounded great, maybe the bass drums could have been a little higher but there was nothing to turn your nose up at, at all. The audience and band both had an amazing night at a very unique show, a show with bands that could have easily sold as many tickets as they did this night multiple times over and still more, all in a tiny room for an almost exclusive show. Schmier also stated Destruction wanted to play at Bloodstock 2008, and so it would seem plans are in the works as at the end of the show he told us he would see us all at Bloodstock.
All in all tonight we witnessed a pure, unadulterated live thrash metal experience that surely no one else has experienced before regarding venue and audience size, an intimate night in with Destruction and Onslaught that I will not forget for a long time and I am sure the bands won't either.

Setlist:



Thanks go to Destruction and Onslaught for deciding to play this small venue after the Liverpool show was cancelled, and sorry to Sy of Onslaught who I didn't get to have another chat with in the bus after the show - you were right, it was cutting it a bit fine with the taxi, but there is always next time!
Written, and photos by Barry Anderson



 



Written on 16.11.2007 by
Baz Anderson
Member of Staff since 2006.
More articles by Baz Anderson ››




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Bararey - 16.11.2007 at 06:13  
You know, I have the utmost respect for bands that give it their all with the venue being almost empty.
It is really sad that only a few people came out to see the show, the bands must have lost money on this.

And I don't understand why people are quiet in metal shows, referring to the comment about the Leeds audience mentioned here, for crying out loud, it is a metal show, it is not like there is a concert every night, people should loosen up and have some fun. With the energy produced from the crowd, the band can project even more energy which leads to the show being even more fun, oh well too bad for the people at Leeds for messing this up!
LeChron James - 16.11.2007 at 10:04  
that sounds like an incredible show. Destruction's set list is tops.
LeChron James - 16.11.2007 at 10:06  
and very well done Baz.
BloodTears - 16.11.2007 at 10:32  
Well a Thrashy night, good review.

Both bands played here this year so I cant really complain like I have with other bands. They put on a good show.
Tod_Engel - 16.11.2007 at 11:55  
Sad that their tour turned out to be such a disaster. But hell yeah, at least you managed to enjoy a good and intimate show, Baz.
Bad English - 16.11.2007 at 14:06  
Good rewiew
Jeff - 16.11.2007 at 14:31  
@Bararey: Just one important thing to know. The band, didn't lose anything. There have contracts, they get their money before the show (or of course they will not play, that's logical…) if they have one or 5000 people. Of course it can depend… sometime some bands (in general the ones who know that the venue will be full) ask a "%" on the price of the tickets but in general they play for XXXXX $ and that's all. (evidently I have some examples with some bands who after such kind of show didn't take all the money or just played for free... these people rock).

If there is someone who can complain here, that's the organizer (or venue) who will lost a lot of money and who will probably stop to organize such events in the future....

Though we agree, it' s really sad for the bands to play in front of so few people… and that's great that they do their best for the "real ones" who were there…
Ozman - 16.11.2007 at 16:20  
I knew that thrash was never really big in England and in the heyday the Englishman's tast in thrash was dodgy to say the least (why else do you think Onslaught and Sabbat had to call it quits?), but only 50 people showing up for well-known thrash bands such as Destruction and Onslaught is pathetic to say the least.
Promonex - 16.11.2007 at 16:31  
Great review, it really made me craving for seeing Destruction again as well! One and a half month more to go... can't... wait... any... longer..........
Bararey - 16.11.2007 at 16:46  
@Jeff,

Thanks for the note, I thought it was otherwise (I read an article in the Wall Street Journal on how bands make money on tour, it was a pop band, but the business model would not be much different)

This is what I thought:

The venue charges the band a fee for using it and could cost thousands of dollars depending on the size of the venue.

The bands get money to cover the costs from selling tickets, and still venue takes in % of those ticket sales.

Bands sell merchandise (which I thought was their main source of generating $$ when touring), and once again venue takes a %fee from the profit they generate.

And still bands have to cover tour bus rental fees, gas, bus driver, hotel, food, organizer fee, travel tickets (if from overseas) etc…

So if the venue does not have a lot of people, they might not make as much money, and even worse pay from their own pockets to cover the losses.

------

I could be wrong though, but I never thought the venue manager will let the venue operate at loss.
Ozman - 16.11.2007 at 16:53  
Written by Bararey on 16.11.2007 at 16:46

@Jeff,

Thanks for the note, I thought it was otherwise (I read an article in the Wall Street Journal on how bands make money on tour, it was a pop band, but the business model would not be much different)

This is what I thought:

The venue charges the band a fee for using it and could cost thousands of dollars depending on the size of the venue.

The bands get money to cover the costs from selling tickets, and still venue takes in % of those ticket sales.

Bands sell merchandise (which I thought was their main source of generating $$ when touring), and once again venue takes a %fee from the profit they generate.

And still bands have to cover tour bus rental fees, gas, bus driver, hotel, food, organizer fee, travel tickets (if from overseas) etc…

So if the venue does not have a lot of people, they might not make as much money, and even worse pay from their own pockets to cover the losses.

------

I could be wrong though, but I never thought the venue manager will let the venue operate at loss.


I think that it varies from country to country. So it is in the US like you said, and in France the way Jeff described.

Here in Holland the organizer (either the venue or someone else) pays the band to play. And not the other way around. Pay to Play is a solely American thing I think (but am not sure though).

For example: I, personally, would like to organize a concert. Then I will have to rent a venue and pay a band to play there.
Stigmatized - 16.11.2007 at 17:18  
This reminds me of the Enslaved/Arsis gig I went to about a month ago. The venue was seriously almost empty the entire night. There were more than 50, but the crowd was very sad.
Baz Anderson - 16.11.2007 at 17:55  
Written by Ozman on 16.11.2007 at 16:20

I knew that thrash was never really big in England and in the heyday the Englishman's tast in thrash was dodgy to say the least (why else do you think Onslaught and Sabbat had to call it quits?), but only 50 people showing up for well-known thrash bands such as Destruction and Onslaught is pathetic to say the least.

well it isn't that - ok, thrash never was as big as some other subgenres here but the reason for the little amount of people at this show was that it was set up just a few days before it actually happened. there was no advertising for this show on the internet or in magazines, etc. there was hardly any advertising in Nottingham itself
I am sure this tour sold many many more tickets on the other dates that were scheduled a long time ago, this show is not representative of the whole tour at all

thanks everyone for the nice comments!!
Jeff - 16.11.2007 at 18:41  
@Marcel and Bararey: But it work like you say too here!

As I say it depends... here really small bands can win money with the tickets (in the Pubs etc) and only big ones ask (in adition of the money that they get to play) for a % in the price of the ticket.

But in general with Metal and I think that it's the same in the USA too, it's a matter of "organizer pays => the band play", like with Marcel's example.
jupitreas - 18.11.2007 at 23:23  
i caught them in London yesterday and indeed, the venue was packed... So there you go.
Baz Anderson - 23.11.2007 at 20:01  
well, Destruction have posted a statement about the tour - see the news here:

http://www.metalstorm.ee/events/news_comments.php?news_id=5661
Darkside Momo - 25.11.2007 at 00:08  
Written by Ozman on 16.11.2007 at 16:53


Here in Holland the organizer (either the venue or someone else) pays the band to play. And not the other way around. Pay to Play is a solely American thing I think (but am not sure though).


Maybe it was solely american at first, but this kind of attitude is increasing in France; more and more little clubs and drinking-holes now use the 'pay to play' rule...
Yes, getting worse.

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