Tim Williams’ Flat-Out Aggression: This Is London
Crawl off the plane with swollen eyes and sunken cheeks. The driver picks us up; we load up and head to the hotel. After a brief nap, shit and a shower. I head out on the streets to have a gander. The sun is out and people are buzzing around. As we drift further into the market, the shops get weird — lots of Moroccans, Pakistanis, traders, day-trippers.
The trance beats, the smell of foreign tongue, the smoke and incense burn out the webs in my mind’s eye. It all fades into a smoking caffeine-riddled psychosis…I awaken 12 hours later to somebody slamming on my door — “Get up! Lobby call!”
Christ — I grumble to the side of the bed, take a quick hit and crawl into the shower. The day is murky, I feel estranged — time zone delirium is always better-dressed in reverse. Managers, label, owners, reps, photos, magazines. A roof-top smoke and diminishing sunshine signal the decent of day.
The bar room smells of piss, the back room smells worse. We bolt the door, devour the rider of subway sandwiches, soda, chips and start the count down. The iDock blasts a mix of music — we have reached the hurry-up and wait phase and it sucks. Finally, the speakers come out, the stage is set, half the video for a new song “Hard Times” is already in the bag. Push ups, sit ups, pull ups — repeat. Stretch every part of my body and begin the final check list of pre-stage obsessive compulsive disorder.
The crowd is packed in like cattle and the sweat is dripping from the low ceiling. It’s hot, like Fayetteville, Carolina, hot.
We roll “Gunfire” — (the some what controversial intro). We are proven wrong; the crowd approves. The heat burns off the amps as the lights blot out the first few rows of crushed skulls. Ripping into the first note, the place erupts in a halo of kicks, fists, sweat and the bodies come rolling over the monitors like dead soldiers from a forgotten war.
Adrenaline bursts as “Imprint” kicks in like a boot to the face. Again, bodies split through archaic feedback, as amplification bleeds the ear. All held down by drums that throttle up to unleash a relentless barrage of hell and truth.
The chord wraps my left arm, my foot crushes some unlucky bastard’s hand as words of destruction speak of a passing darkness. A diary, words of judgement, guilt and a cross to bare. Everybody has got a story to tell.
This is the underworld and this is London.