There’s something quite special about mid-summer gigs in the heart of Camden and the Agnostic Front 30th anniversary show at the Underworld did not disappoint.
Before ‘the Front’ could get anywhere near the stage the main discussion involved whether Deez Nuts would be able to even strut their way to the Underworld. Thankfully frontman JJ Peters was able to take the stage for the vast majority of their set, even with broken ribs. As usual he delivered a set that was at its usual entertaining best and set it up nicely for the main event.
When the time came for the veterans of New York Hardcore to come onstage the floor had already filled up with angry looking 30-something’s trying to emulate their hero – frontman Roger Miret. Emulating meant donning a vest, hat or bandana and wearing some fetching basketball shorts that looked like they’d seen better days. It made for an interesting crowd and if anything added to the general feeling that you’d stumbled into a rather extrovert village gathering.
I have to admit I hadn’t listened to the band before 8am on the day of the gig – therefore forgive me for the lack of knowledge. That should take nothing away from how impressed I was coming out of the venue. The originators of New York Hardcore shredded their way through a sweaty 50 minutes of oi’s and general chanting with the variation in crowd surfers also a joy to behold.
Their catalogue is extensive enough that they were able to please fans old and new with a slight emphasis given to tracks from the new CD. Not that you’d hear anyone complaining or there being a let up in the compeition to see which fan could stay on the stage and dance like a tit for longest.
You could tell these guys still love what they do and they moved one of my brothers (I hear that’s what you call hardcore friends) to comment they sound even better than they do on Spotify. That they did and conversely they will now be a major fixture on my iTunes when I need a NYHC pick up. Keep it real. Backs to the wall and all that jazz.