I found my review of Foetus from 1996. Yes, it’s horrifyingly pretentious – but I was an overexcited teenager and all that. Of course, I was completely unaware of any connection between Foetus and either Nick Cave or Cop Shoot Cop, if the references seem a little off. Alas, before you ask, I wasn’t in the front row …
24 Sep 1996, London Astoria 2
From the live MALE DVD; the lyrics are allegorical.
Talk about one hell of an impressive bill. Actually, I think I will.
Leech Woman are one of the most “industrial” industrial bands in the world today. With most of the percussion made up of household objects like dustbins and empty gas cylinders, they certainly have taken the idea to its limit. There’s the bloke on drums who alternately bangs out hard ‘n’ heavy rhythms and attacks his kit with an electric sander (yes – this time it does work!) and it’s all rather impressive. Then there’s that one on the guitar, who either churns out white noise or hammers away on a percussion rack. Oh, and Alex, of course: he’s the one screaming out stuff like, “Hate! Anger! Destruction! Power!” and making a huge bloody racket with his bass. My only criticism would be my one criticism of the entire genre: a lack of contrast. Industrial music as a whole tends to concentrate on one single emotion – rage – and until it breaks out of its self-imposed restrictions, Leech Woman is as good as it gets. Awesome, stunning, and almost adorable.
Otis. c/f Soundgarden.
Finally, Foetus. Scraping Foetus Off The Wheel. The Foetus All-Nude Revue. Foetus Interruptus. You’ve Got Foetus On Your Breath. Dozens of aliases, scores of albums, one sick, sick puppy. Imagine if you will the following best case scenario: Elvis has come out of hiding and hooked up with an all-new supergroup featuring members of The Bad Seeds, Nine Inch Nails, Gallon Drunk and Cop Shoot Cop. Not a bad deal. Not bad at all. So there we have it – a gutsy, head-smashing whirl of dirty blues and industrial (oops – I used the “i” word) blisscore. James George Thirlwell – the nasty, sexy offspring of Nick Cave and Elvis – struts across the stage like Hell – He Owns It – What Does He Care? – and rips off the ears of anyone dumb enough not to be enraptured because Jimmy G’s paid his dues twice over and it’s time he got something back.
Jimmy G may have a cold, but he’s defying it to stop him hitting any one of the high notes on his songs. He croons, he swaggers, he struts, he screams, and he also has the rather endearing habit of selecting various female members of the audience to play tonsil tennis with between – and even during – the next onslaught of aural bliss.
Yeah – there’s plenty of high points to choose between tonight. Throne Of Agony is so magnificent it would be pointless to even begin to describe it without ending up in Pseud’s Corner. Take It Outside, Godboy, and the all-rocking, Lennon-In-Grave-Spinning-Scenario take on I Am The Walrus are yet more sparkly bits on the Crown Jewels of concertdom. Each song sends octarine sparks spewing out into the stratosphere. Watching Foetus is like watching galaxies explode into life. There may not be any brass instruments in sight tonight (though a sequencer spews out the vitriolic samples), but in terms of sheer showmanship, Foetus can outdo them all.
It has to end some time, but the sheer joy that is Anything (Viva!) is … just …