The Verse’s Lou Clement reviews Fear Factory at their Concorde 2 show on the 12th August.
It’s a warm summer evening, and Brighton’s seafront is busy with tourists and those arriving for their Friday night out in the city; “Jamie Oliver, maybe, Zizzi’s?” I drive along the stretch of seafront where it usually gets quieter – Madeira Drive is a road to nowhere, after all. The Victorian iron structures that decorate the promenade are now cordoned off, forcing pedestrians on to the road. It’s pretty chaotic. Parked outside Concorde 2 are the massive tour buses for the band. Tonight, I’m seeing Fear Factory.
The band formed way back in the 80s, and are one of those bands who have truly been influential for so many others. I came to know the band late on, having been a massive fan of Nine Inch Nails and from that getting into some heavier sounds. Tonight, Fear Factory were playing a warm up gig for Bloodstock Festival. But first, support from a band called Sanguine. I want to say nice things about this band, but I can’t. The female vocalist had an incredible range – how’s that? – which varied from screamo to holding high-pitched notes. But it all sounded like bird call, and an angry and Hitchcockian one at that. I was waiting for the bass quite a lot of the time. Not for me.
However, when Fear Factory poured onto the stage, the energy was palpable. The crowd was as eclectic as the range of music that the band had made over the years: punks, goths, metallers – old and young. I was pretty irked at the three guys in front of me who needed to record every song on their mobiles; seriously, do you need a video of red blurry blob and flashing lights as a memory of this gig? The band had plenty of energy and drove a metal spear of sound into the beered-up audience, with foot stamping, shouting and jumping accompanying the performance from the outset. Fear Factory were full of the dark and angry noises of industrial and heavy metal; the gig was an antidote to blithe seaside scene. In all, it was a celebration of thirty years of music making, both for the devoted and the uninitiated.