Summer is over (despite the sweltering heat over the previous few days), it’s the second week of September and that only means one thing in some diaries. Chimpyfest, a weekend (if starting on Thursday evening counts) of silly band names and extreme nonsensical noise. This year it is sadly limited to a UK audience and line-up meaning many familiar faces are missing and the usual sea of studded and pierced and patched crusties is a little smaller. Despite this difference everyone is delighted to be there, it has after all been a long and frustrating few months of loneliness, grief, rescheduling and cancellations, raised hopes and dreams shattered. Enough of that bullshit though we are here to embrace old friends and make new ones, maybe crack some skulls and spill some beer/blood and obliterate the New Cross Inn in the friendliest way possible.
Setting the foundation for hours of ear and body punishment are Londoners Pisskrieg, out to “make punk obnoxious again” with harsh vocals and shredding guitars. The crowd is relatively meagre at this stage as half are still queuing to engage in bag checks and ticket collection. Fortunately they are still able to observe through the large windows of the venue, which later on provide much entertainment to general passers-by who peer in to see what the fuck is going on.
London’s Tystvar have a similar if more punky sound but it’s during the sludgy, crusty and
disgusting tones of Do One that the full appreciation of finally being here kicks in, witnessing, shock horror, live music, the most extreme music, camera in hand, brain melting surrounded by likeminded weirdos, FINALLY. Self-described as “Simpsons Banterviolence” they are clearly not to be taken too seriously, but the Eye Hate God style licks that are occasionally contrasted with blast beats, batshit crazy vocals and speedy grinding riffs ARE seriously groovy, especially when the Poisonous Cunt front woman leaps up on stage to add some even dirtier sludgy howls.
Next up is Northampton’s Atrocity Exhibit who have slimmed down to a dynamic duo having dropped a bassist. They might be lean but are still a mean machine of mental balls out ‘grind n roll’ replete with Motorhead riffs and Napalm Death growls. Pissed off political Londoners Stiff Meds are the penultimate band of the evening blasting out a mix of powerviolence and fastcore with a hardcore well, core. The enraged frontman releases all his pent up fury to a manic mosh happy crowd. Self professed “cruel music for a cruel world”.
It feels like the night is over before it has begun when Crust punk pioneers Deviated Instinct close the night. Starting way back in 1984 they still bring the filth with formidable death metal vocals over evil sounding catchy metallic punk chords. Battered form an evening of mental moshing for possibly the first in a long time the crowd seem keen to save themselves for another two days of torment.
Words: Abi Coulson
Photography by Abi Coulson of Darktones Photography and Dave Jerome of World Downfall Photography.