NEVERMIND grey – it was a case of 50 Shades Of Black last night, as industrial fetishists Trauma Inc and Nightmare Frequency took to Bannermans’ stage.
A violent show that had more in common with extreme physical theatre than the electronic-inspired metal both bands extol, it was an experience far more pleasing to the eyes than the ears.
Leading the way, Trauma Inc’s brand of energised techno punk features a stand-up drummer, a guitarist whose pointy-shaped axe could easily poke your eye out, and two screeching “singers”.
While the passion and intent was clear, the structure and arrangement of the Glasgow quartet’s material could do with some fresh attention.
Nightmare Frequency, on the other hand, are completely off the radar. Describing themselves as “everything you never wanted to hear” and whose chief interest is “destroying ourselves” – it’s safe to say mainstream success isn’t on their agenda.
Pacing the stage in the manner of a boxer just before a fight, the trio’s grease-clad frontman spent most of the set punching himself in the chest and pretending to rip out his own tonsils whenever he wasn’t screaming robotic-voiced diatribes.
The group’s drummer wasn’t content to bash out tribal beats all night. At one stage, he tackled the “singer” to the ground mid-song before entering the audience and pushing more folk around. Staged, of course, yet the feeling something genuinely vicious could happen was never far from the surface.
The safest member of the band – a ninja-masked woman wearing a faux, highlighted Indian headdress – provided aggressive bleeps and burps courtesy of a shiny laptop.
To add to the bizarreness, a girl sporting WW2 fighter-pilot goggles almost had a conga-line going. In fact, had a half-time raffle been introduced no-one would have probably batted an eyelid.
For Nightmare Frequency, it all seems so deadly serious. To the audience, however, it’s harmless entertainment.