Mon 14th September 2009
The fact that I do believe that this band are all nine flavours of awesome is really no big secret. They could probably crap on my hands before charging me a months rent and kicking my Gran, and I'd still buy their next album. But, love them or not, you can't fault a FREE gig, especially in the confines of this cosy little bar in North Camden.
Half an hour before set-time and it looks like it could be a miracle if this particular freebie even happens at all. There are about nine people in the bar, and most, it must be said, do not appear to be here for the two-man punk-thrash juggernaut that's about to come thundering in. Indeed, even the sound-man doesn't show up until 15 minutes after the band are meant to hit the stage!
But by 9.30pm there's a curious crowd of around forty assembled around around two men with a drum kit and a guitar held together by duct-tape. None of this phases the two Bens in the slightest as they snap into action with the one-two sucker-punch of 'The Line-Up' and 'Reeper'.
The gig itself is the perfect blend of old material, songs from 2007's 'Flight Of The Raven' and fresh new songs being road-tested for an as-yet-untitled third album. New 'uns 'Murder Will Out', 'I Want Your Blood' and 'Mookie' sit perfectly on the set-list alongside the ever punchy 'Manhunt', 'Harold's Dewlaps' and a storming version of 'Whiskey Business'. But it's set-closer 'Going Home', the sprawling ear-drum-exploring, epic riffathon, which steals the show. This song almost seems to have taken on a mind of its own, and even takes a small psychedelic detour before pummelling the audience one last time with it's chugging groove of an opening riff.
The crowd are totally captivated by the 40-minute thrashing mass of hair and limbs and swarm around the Bens to offer praise before dispersing away in search of beer. They deserve all the pats on the back on offer tonight, as this was definitely the most polished and concrete performance I have seen from the Deal in the five years that I've been a fan of their insanity-inducing noise.