Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster @ Digital, Brighton 04.11.10

At the end of a country-wide tour in support of new album Blood & Fire, Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster look like they are on their last legs. However, there is nothing new here. This is a band steeped in a history of tumultuous relationships and in-fighting, which Bearded thinks just adds to their dirty charm.

Nov 4th, 2010 at Digital, Brighton / By Suzi Ireland
Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster Due to the awful train network in this country, the support bands were missed, so straight onto the main event. Clambering onto the stage in darkness, the ominous presence of a band on the edge of a meltdown engulfs the atmosphere. Being their last stop on the ‘Enter the Savage BooHoo’ tour, the band seem tense and aggressive, but the crowd are more than ready.

Within the first few bars of opener ‘Monsieur Cuts’, vocalist Guy McKnight is in amongst the audience and goading them on. You know that tonight is going to be hostile from this moment on and you brace yourself. The band play with vigour and the fuck-you attitude that has put them where they are today - as one of Britain’s most exciting and unpredictable bands of the past ten years.

Interspersing brand new tracks with classics like ‘Mister Mental’ and ‘Psychosis Safari’, it’s easy to see why the fans just won’t let this band die. New single ‘So Long Goodnight’ builds and stutters to its climax and filthy rocker ‘Love Turns to Hate’ whips the crowd into a frenzy. Each member has his own unique ominous presence and there is no shortage of things to look at each stage. Especially when notorious wreckhead bass player Sym has an altercation with a security guard - although this strikes Bearded as being a regular occurrence?!

The fact that one of their guitarists doesn’t join the stage until the third or fourth song, leaves you wondering just how close these guys are to imploding. This ultimate vulnerability is what makes them so very attractive to spectators with a soft spot for the hard punk ethos. It could all fall apart at any moment, which keeps you absolutely enthralled by what’s happening in front of you. The last song’s impromptu stage invasion ends the show with McKnight on a raised platform at the back of the stage, singing down to the hundred or so stage dwellers. A spectacular end to what appears to have been a raucous tour. Outstanding.