Live Reviews

The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster @ Garage, London

17 January 2002


“You’ve drunk enough alcohol to float a ship! You motherfuckin’ whores and idiots! You are about to witness demons and hellfire!” said an old bloke in a hat and coat whose day job was, perhaps, walking around Oxford Street wearing a sandwich board, announcing THE END OF THE WORLD IS NIGH. “Here! Are! The! Eighties! Matchbox! B-Line! Disasterrrrrrrrrrr!” he howled at the assembled masses of pierced, tattooed freaks before him. But where was vocalist Guy McKnight?

“Excuse me,” said a stocky bloke behind me. I turned round to find Guy perched on stocky bloke’s shoulders, looking already like a thing possessed of hellfire and enough evil spirits to start a Hollywood franchise. I moved. Obviously Guy was fed up with his ponderous progress to the stage via the entire audience. He leapt from his carrier’s shoulders and crowdsurfed to his place in the centre of the stage. As entrances go, it was one hell of an entrance.

Their album lasts for about 25 minutes, so this was always going to be a short set, and the band wasted no time in getting into it. Guy’s voice veered from the low, evil drawl of Nick Cave to the high-octane screech of Bruce Dickenson, and all the while his huge eyes stared out from behind his dark locks and his lip trembled. His audience trembled too when Celebrate Your Mother was aired – hair spun about, lights blazed, mass stage dives were the order of the day.

Fishfingers took things to another level again. Thrashing, screaming, impatiently the fast-moving and well-drilled band hurried towards the end of the song, the most memorable line of which was “I am the Son of God”. Fantastic! And Guy certainly has the hair for it. His associates’ mohicans added to the demented scene before us, but all eyes were on Guy.

The vocal effects of Psychosis Safari were present for the live set too as one wash of death metal followed another. Guy’s cooling system couldn’t cope, so off came his t-shirt and he clambered onto the feedback amps, grabbed hold of the ceiling and tried to pull it down on us. Iggy Pop, what have you spawned?

They stalked off the stage with no intention of returning for an encore – hardly any need when you’ve conquered the world and turned it evil in less than 45 minutes, after all. On the evidence of tonight’s set, you’d better lock up your mothers and sisters – death metal is back in the shape of The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster. I, for one, am fucking delighted.


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The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster @ Garage, London


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