Fighting Boredom thought that the new General album was excellent, so when we found out that they were the frst support for Senser in Birmingham last week we were straight there. Read whether their first show back after their drummers nasty hand injury was a triumph.
This is bizarre, firstly the tickets have been left for me under a nickname I haven’t used for twenty odd years and secondly the crowd consists of families, tiny just teenagers with Mum’s and Dad’s dressed much the same, older teenagers with Dad’s, Senser fan’s with faded tee-shirts and huge beards and two blokes waiting to see if General can pull off a thirty-five-minute support slot under two other bands.
General wander onstage, nonchalant and relaxed. The guitars start and they are throbbing, the noise builds up into a massive riff and the heaviness ensues. Graham is focused and holding centre stage with a handlebar moustache to die for. At the back of the stage Tom hits the drums hard laying down the base for the rest. Ru and Gaz are on the right, moving to the sound piling up riffs and laying down solid and pure bass grooves. On the left Dave stands, not moving, totally into the noise. You watch and find yourself asking if people still make music like this? It feels old but the sound is fresh it really is anything but derivative; they are just loose enough to make the sound matter.
It feels like blocks of flats falling, like rivers flowing chocked up with debris, it thrashes and burns then slows and just hammers into you. At one point the band are creating the monster sound and Graham stands with his hands clasped in front of him, looks left and right then just nods to himself. He’s right. They nailed it.
Go Primitive are up next. They have all the little teens at the front of the stage eating out of their hands. They strike me as very image conscious and Punky Pop. They are powerful and hard but there is a shine to them. That’s not a bad thing, it works very well and they are very well received but not my cup of tea.
They have a big sound, lots of punk chops and leaping around and the vocalist gets the crowd to get nearer which builds the atmosphere. They do a segment of the Ghostbusters theme that they have made appropriately noisy and hard. They could go far especially as the kids loved them.
But then it’s the headliners turn. The crowd now are filling the front of the stage; they are waiting for the main event. Senser are old heads and this lot love them. We stay for a few songs and then need to leave but the songs we saw are great. They surge and stutter, the rapping aggressive and the beats spot on. They are intense, the foil between the two vocalists working well. When they kick into ‘Switch’ they take me by surprise and I find myself moving to the beat too. Catch them, they still matter.
General’s website is general-hq.com. They are also on Facebook.
All words by Adrian Bloxham, all pictures by Martin Ward.