Venomous Concept + Taupe + Jotnarr

Venomous Concept + Taupe + Jotnarr

23rd January 2024

This gig is for a standing audience.

VC Lineup tonight:
Kevin Sharp - Vocals
Shane Embury - Bass
John Cooke - Guitar
Dave Witte - Drums

Singularly ferocious and reliably unhinged, Venomous Concept have been one of the 21st century’s most undeniable punk rock wrecking crews. Formed by underground noise veterans Shane Embury (Napalm Death) and Kevin Sharp (Brutal Truth) in 2004, the band’s swivel-eyed devotion to the most scabrous and chaotic punk and hardcore ensured that their impact was immediate. With Shane and Kevin on guitar and vocals respectively, plus Melvins legend Buzz Osborne on guitar, thrash/death icon Danny Lilker on bass and Embury’s Napalm Death compadre Danny Herrera on drums, 2004’s blistering debut album Retroactive Abortion was always destined to be a brutish kick-in-the-pants. Deservedly, it was widely hailed as a contemporary punk classic, and established Venomous Concept as much more than just another side-project.

Since then the band have intermittently active, destroying venues at every available opportunity and producing a further three highly rated studio albums (most recently, 2020’s Politics Versus The Erection), a brace of split EPs and even a mind-bending EP of cover versions, Deep Thinking In Deep Times, that included a wild rendition of David Bowie’s Suffragette City.

Fast forward and Venomous Concept are back, but with a massive, jolting difference. Pieced together over the last year, the band’s fifth album showcases a wholesale upgrade and overhaul for the grubby extremists’ sound. Brilliantly titled The Good Ship Lollipop, the band’s latest full-length is still firmly tethered to the worlds of punk and hardcore. But where previous albums had been relentless barrages of breakneck savagery, this one is full of massive tunes, incisive rock’n’roll riffs and even gonzoid, sing-along choruses. As Shane Embury explains, The Good Ship Lollipop was simply an album that needed to happen. “It was all ready before the last album, to be honest, in demo form,” he notes. “It’s a weird thing. We’ve always stuck to our punk rock roots and the band has only done anything when we’ve been able to. But this time felt different. It was much more a case of, ‘Fuck it, let’s do it!’ We really pushed the boat out. We had Simon Efemy on board, producing, and Kevin really wanted to work on his voice. We just went for it.” Although fans of fast and furious punk rock will definitely not be disappointed by the new Venomous Concept album, the band’s transformation is obvious and exhilarating from the first riffs of the opening title track onwards. Eschewing the heads-down, last-one-to-the-end-is-a-twat approach of previous records in favour of a balls-to-the-wall rock’n’roll approach, The Good Ship Lollipop dares to be anthemic, stirring and truly heavy, while still delivering all the snottiness and bile that long-time fans will be demanding. With John Cooke (guitar, Napalm Death) and Carl Stokes (Cancer, drums) completing the line-up, this is Venomous Concept rebuilt for the long haul.

Razor-sharp polyrhythmic play, exploratory improvisation and heavy sludge.

Colchester's own crusty BM/hardcore crossover Trio. Essential!

Tickets £15 in advance, £17.50 on the door.
Doors open 7.30pm, starts 8pm.
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