With the onset of February we are getting a little busier. 2nd, Protest The Hero, 6th Del Amitri, 9th Molly Hatchet, 14th Monster Magnet, 15th Dream Theater, 19th, Sons Of Icarus, 20th Skyclad, 25th Soulfly, 26th Cadillac Three

And maybe a couple more to be added.

Wednesday, 5 December 2012

The Twins Of Evil: Rob Zombie and Marilyn Manson @NIA 29/11/12

Back in the day RTM quite liked Marilyn Manson. In fact, sometime around the turn of the century we saw him play the NEC Arena as it was then and he was thoroughly exciting.

This was at the height of his most dangerous phase, and moreover at the height of his creative peak. Say what you like about Manson, but for a spell back there he was very, very good. Albums like” Holly Weird” and “Mechanical Animals” stand up with anything that came out in that period, but let’s be honest, that was a long time ago.

Fast forward to 2012, and Manson is bloated, hasn’t released a decent album in a long time (this year’s” Born Villain” is a partial return to form, but won’t win album of the year any time soon) and worryingly, he appears to have totally lost both his voice and memory. RTM will give him his due, he remembered some of the words and sometimes in the right order, but it’s a fleeting moment where he gets it right.

Then there is the show itself. It’s all very dated. “The Dope Show” rocks along, but sounds as much of its time as, say, Limp Bizkit’s “Rollin’” would. It might just be us, but is it really shocking in 2012 to have a LED video screen flashing up the word AIDS behind the band? Or is it just a bit silly?

After his hour – which includes a truly execrable version of “Sweet Dreams (Are Made Of These) by the Eurythmics, which sounds even worse than it did on the record years ago – you are left to conclude that, rather like all those bands that made the horrible Cool Britannia movement in the late 90s, Marilyn Manson has very little to offer anymore.

Still, surely Rob Zombie will be better, though?

Well, the answer is yes, but it is a yes with a but. First of all opening song “Jesus Frankenstein is lost in a terrible sound, and when you can actually hear what is being sung Zombie’s voice sounds terrible. To be fair, he explains this himself, saying he ruined his vocal chords the night before in Glasgow, but this merely tells half the story.

"More Human Than Human” you see, still sounds fabulous. At this point you are left to reflect that while White Zombie might have released a couple of good albums in the mid-90s the rest of Mr.Zombie’s career hasn’t quite lived up to that. “Sick Bubblegum” and “Never Gonna Stop (The Red Red Kroovy) are good enough songs, but they pale into insignificance compared to band material like “Thunder Kiss 65.”

Also, having heard a lot about how good Zombie’s show was – and indeed having seen his previous band years back –RTM was disappointed in it. Yes there were lights and screens, but precious little else. Indeed there is nothing here that any arena band worth their salt doesn’t do.

There is a cover of “Schools Out” that makes you long for Alice Cooper to do it properly, before a disappointing evening ends with Zombie’s best song in “Dragula”, but really, the only thing scary about this show, considering that it was billed as “The Twins Of Evil” is just how poor it was.

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