Undefeated !!! MEMORIAM Live at The Underworld, Camden, London 01st February 2020

Undefeated !!! MEMORIAM Live at The Underworld, Camden, London 01st February 2020

Words Andy S23

Photography and Footage Danny S

Definition: hyperbole

/hʌɪˈpəːbəli/

Learn to pronounce

noun

exaggerated statements or claims not meant to be taken literally.

… and that’s my opening statement, such was this momentous performance, much of what I’m about to regale you with will be undoubtedly prone to ‘hyperbole’ – however, I can say with absolute assurance, it’s all justifiably deserved !!!

Treat Your Self !!!

So, some background – late last year Memoriam announced the first of many shows for 2020 and I immediately booked tickets for I and my very, very good friend Danny.

I’ve know Danny for a good few years, working alongside each other on a daily basis, he’s the kind of guy you can trust to have your back, moreover, we enjoy a common love of films, comics and music all accompanied with our unique brand of humor and culture that many outside of our small circle will understand !!!

Man Day 101 !!!

The had stars aligned, we both had the day off, wives, kids, cats and dogs where all respectively packed off and taken care of – as such we inaugurated what hopefully will become an annual affair – Man Day !!!

Memoriam, take heed, feel free to play the first Saturday of every February – Ha !!!

It was our intention to have somewhat of a more ‘explosive day’ but Danny was nursing his head from his previous night out watching Megadeth, and I nursing a stinking cold, bad mood as well as marching into the sublime mediocrity of middle age didn’t present the most dynamic of duos …

Still, opening up with a cold beer, we perused a slew of comic book shops, including Orbital, Gosh! and Forbidden Planet. Danny picked up some missing numbers from Silver Surfer and The Punisher I opted for stuff from Adam Hughes, Jocks Green Arrow and an issue of Wolverine by Alan Davis !!!

As the sun set we marched onwards to Camden as showtime loomed over the horizon – alas Mega City Comics had already closed, we settled amongst the throng in The Worlds End for the first of many more beers !!!

On entry to The Underworld, suitably refreshed we bumped into Frank Healy, Memoriam’s bassist. Gregarious, unassumingly charming and genuinely pleased to see us – we briefly spoke about the drive down to London, plans for dinner, he was looking forward to a hearty kebab post show – and his thundering bass tone, which wryly quipped was due to his dwindling hearing – top man.

Naturally, first port of call, after grabbing some more ice cold beers, was the merch table – some great shirts, and regrettably I wish I’d picked up the show exclusive shirt, hopefully they’ll make their way on line over at their Big Cartel store …

But, I did pick up one of these, a coffee mug, resplendent with their demo’s artwork – this got put to good use as soon as I was through the front door …

Whilst at the table, drummer Andy Whale happily chatted to us, gave some incredible insight to the bands plans and future, I’ll keep quiet here, but seriously keep an eye out – Memoriam will be as busy as ever. Andy also spoke about one of his other bandsDarkened, and we energetically enthused over its style and tone. We also chatted about Memoriam’s unique DIY ethic, which allows them to tour on weekends, days off, and yet still remain committed to work, family and other endeavors – we both agreed it’s a model many bands should explore, keeping it fresh, exciting and vital.

We did also bumped into Karl, however, my inital greeting of ‘I love Saxon, and I’ve always wanted to meet Biff Byford’ was perhaps not the best opening gambit, but he heartily shook my hand nonetheless before disappearing into the depths of The Underworld …

MEMORIAM

As the opening bars of the instrumental ‘Memoriam’ faded the band quite literally exploded onto the stage, Memoriam ripped open with Undefeated – the sound, tone and pitch was perfect. Wether this style or genre either is or isn’t your thing – this was a masterclass in sonic assault and I’d urge other bands to seriously pay heed.

The stripped down, lean and taught approach really lent itself to the live setting, and whilst this track, on the album is a firm favorite, here it took a life of its own and sounded more venomous, vicious and vitriolic than ever. As aforementioned Franks bass, rumbled with a groove and warmth, and an assured confidence and prowess that clearly cemented why as one of the scenes elder statesman he’s a legend and consummate professional. He prowled and worked the stage relentlessly, putting many younger contemporaries to shame.

Karl too, exploded with a power, an unbridled fury that literally gripped and captivated the audiences attention from the off and throughout …

The passion and integrity, and thinly veiled vitriol and disdain of the current socio-political state was palpable and delivered with integrity, yet as any good showman and frontman does, this was ably delivered with aplomb and a wry smile, extolling that perhaps we all shouldn’t take our selves too seriously …

That aside, clad in black combat boot and cargo pants, and an intriguingly sleeveless ‘Singularity Sauce’ tee, his long mane of ice blond hair made for an iconically striking visual performance and decades of touring has not dulled his edge, I’d wager his vocals have never sound more ferocious, powerful or confident.

Andy was clearly at home and in a happy place on drums, working what appeared to be a stripped down ensemble, almost a jazz like set up, was an absolute pleasure to observe and clearly was having no end of fun holding it all together. Taught, tight, precision drumming, an absolute wall of pummeling beats alongside Franks bass gives this blend of ‘Old School Death Metal’ real groove, swing and a warmth and a texture many other bands live are simply devoid of. He’s clearly the heart of the beast, and imbues it with life, really making it a living, breathing monster !!!

Last but by no means least, Scott Fairfax the crypt keeper of riffs, the undisputed king of rhythm and lead, flawlessly switching between either with verve, style and panache – Ive long since seen such a player so confidently happy and at ease live – and as the all the band collectively did, his crunch and attack added more spite and vengeful sonic assault to these tracks !!!

Live, is clearly a very comfortable place for Memoriam and they don’t hide the fun with which they approach the stage – which, incidentally they owned !!!

Whilst a slightly shorter set than expected, they pulled out what I’d regard a fan favorite set of classics from their growing back catalogue.

Undefeated was hotly followed by Dronestrike, originally appearing in demo form on their 2nd 7” and subsequently on their sophomore effort as a bonus track in revised form. If I had to choose which version is my favorite, whilst both recorded versions are truly stellar, trust me, when I say live is the ultimate version !!!

No known Grave and As Bridges Burn powered along and the break and beat downs of both had the crowd not only captivated but now on the move …

Karl rallied the partisan crowd with a rallying cry for unity over the divisive referendum, and as such the attending crowd from all over the globe warmly cheered him on – the incisive Austerity Kills was a timely reminder of what the general public have endured and enshrined Memoriam’s relevance forevermore.

Showcasing material from the bands latest LP Requiem for Mankind led the final charge as they subsequently went on to power through Resistance, Shellshock and as I prefer to nickname it ‘Fix Bayonets’ – this was all brought to an apocalyptic conclusion with the devastatingly heavy Flatline

Opening with a faded heartbeat which transcends into a failing life support alarm – many of tonight’s songs were further embellished with small sound bites and soundscapes which really added to the songs color live, a really creatively cool touch which certainly wasn’t lost on me.

Sadly, no cover of Sacrileges The Captive and I was dismayed not to hear Surrounded by Death amongst the set, but it was truly taught, power driven, old school death Metal show at its finest and that in itself gave the whole ensemble a magical life of its own – a greatest hits if you will, and would make an arguably perfect playlist for any true fan …

I hope to see them play again very soon, easily one of my top ten gigs of all time – S23

You can catch Memoriam live next this March in Copenhagen !!!

FREE DOWNLOADABLE COMIC ‘Dredd De Los Muertos ! (The Death of Dredd)

FREE DOWNLOADABLE COMIC

‘Dredd De Los Muertos ! (The Death of Dredd)

Here it is – Free to Download, my Drokktober Megazine get it here:

https://www.dropbox.com/s/njr4v486zvt7x9m/Drokktober%20Megazine%20-%202019%201A.pdf?dl=0

(here is also a link to download a CBZ file to use in an App Reader such Comic Book reader, save the file then port it over into the app: https://www.dropbox.com/s/e194w7m977q5ud3/Drokktober%20CBR%20Pages.cbz?dl=0 )

It’s a little rough around the edges, grammatical errors, sizing issues and image resolution, but rather uploading a slew of images across your feed and replicating across several pages I’ve put together a ‘best of’ free for you to download.

It includes a six page strip, a vague attempt at something humorous, but yeah, here it is …

But, I’ve also included most if not all the covers and sketches that I completed over the month of Drokktober …

Let me know what you think, feedback, criticism, constructive or negative all greatly appreciated …

Drokktober 2019

Well what an absolutely mad riot of fun Drokktobers’s been. I’d not officially for just short of 25 years picked up a pen to produce a reasonably finished piece, Drokktober initiated that return, and as such I’ve not completed a volume of work in one period of time such as this !!!

The opportunity to spend a month drawing 2000ad’s Judge Dredd, coupled with the fantastic choice of prompts was too much of an opportunity to pass up, so participation was a no brainer …

Pitfalls, spills, thrills, triumphs and frustrations – whilst like jumping back on a bicycle, you can clearly see the wobble, false starts and also moments of really starting to warm up and pick up momentum.

I’m strictly amateur, but it’s clearly whet the appetite to produce work again, and explore my style. That said, I can now appreciate the ingenuity and creativity of those creators who do this on a regular basis, fun yes, easy, no …

THANK YOU

Last but not least – Cheers ti the Drokktober boys and cast of ECBT 2000ad as well as Wullie Russell who all deserve a warm well done and a huge thank you for cheering on all who entered.

And, those entered – WOW !!!

Some serious talent, enthusiasm, ideas and creativity – I salute you all and was often left thinking ‘Why didn’t I think of that’ – you are all the best.

Last but not least, to the countless followers, who cheered on the charge and put up with us saturating your favorite pages with entries, show why, Dredd and 2000ad fans are the best !!!

So, here’s my final ‘cover’ and to round it off a short strip I’ve written and illustrated showcasing the Judge Dredd’s untimely demise …

See you next – errr, Drokktober Creeps !!!

Artwork for Sale Here:

https://s23familia.bigcartel.com/

Memoriam … Still Loyal

Gearmonkey75's Blog

Memoriam … Still Loyal

Its been a long while since I’ve figuratively taken up the pen and written anything noteworthy or of interest …

That said I have had a few ideas and subject matters slowly gestating and its only until now I’ve decided to put something out in ‘print’ !!!

Its a culmination of several emotions and ideas – since confidently marching into my mid 40’s and not only leaving one pastime behind, and albeit happily settling down on and focusing on my career and enjoying family life I’ve since rediscovered a former passion, or rather reignited the flame for one of my first loves – music !!!

Specifically, as I’m sure you’ve long by now since gathered, heavy music in particular, and have in recent years enjoyed a renewed vigour, a renaissance of late – the flame has been very much rekindled.

It must be pointed out in…

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Do The Sinister – Bargain Priced Nike Smoke Green Wind Breaker Spotlight

Gearmonkey75's Blog

** BECAUSE IT CAUGHT MY EYE – NIKE WIND BREAKER **

… not exactly review worthy, but as the title says – ‘always keep an eye out’ as you never know where and what you’ll find !!!

… quite literally trawling what I prefer to call a ‘flea market’ with my family, I’d only gone along on the promise of hot coffee and breakfast I found this !!!

Not something I’d either go look for, nor even consider off the shelf – but, in what I’d describe as a very dark ‘sage green’ I spotted this on one vendors table. A like new Nike Windbreaker.

Made from 100% Polyester, and exceptionally lightweight and easily stowable, with its two large front YKK Zippered pockets and sculpted hood – for a mere £1 ($1.26/€1.15) I quickly snapped it up without deliberation. Especially as it was in faultlessly exceptionally brand new condition…

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Trenches – Crye Precision LWF ™ ‘Light Weight Fleece’ Jacket in Multicam

Gearmonkey75's Blog

Trenches – Crye Precision LWF ™ ‘Light Weight Fleece’ Jacket in Multicam

Crye’s LWF (Light Weight Fleece) landed upon my desk late yesterday and as such I thought I’d take the time to run up a quick over view.

First impressions, I’d certainly argue this is one of Crye’s better made, more solid and robust entries to their growing catalogue – and, assertively gives the likes of its Arc’teryx and Beyond Clothing equivalents a real run for their money.

It’s a generously sized garment, and whilst a fitted cut, it would comfortably accommodate a base layer or tee, however I’d encourage dropping up a size if you plan to wear this over either a combat or field shirt.

To put that in perspective, at 6ft and proportionately sized – this, in large fits perfectly, when worn with a tee. More than long enough in the arms, Crye have taken every…

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Troops of Doom – Inside an S23 ‘Day Sack’

Troops of Doom – Inside an S23 ‘Day Sack’

It’s the weekend, so I thought I’d do a quick bag (day sack) dump before getting geared up for another whole new week …

I’ve been using my surprisingly vacuous LondonBridge Trading 8000ain MultiCam ‘Tropic’ …

This carries:

• 1 x Jetboil Flash

• 1 x Patagonia Lvl 5 Soft Shell

• 1 x Patagonia Lvl 4 Wind Shirt

• 1 x SureFire, LLC 6P Classic Blk

• 1 x MRE Spoon

• 1 x Oakley ‘Gas Can’ Glasses

• 1 x Gerber Gear ‘Suspension’ Multi Tool

• 1 x Noble & Blue M05 Field Note Wallet w/Sharpie and IR Cymalume

Patrol Incident Gear FDT gloves

• 2 x Nalgene 1 ltr Bottles

• 1 x AeroPress (fitted with Percolo Stainless Steel Filter)

• 1x Gsi Outdoors ‘Java Mill’

• Assorted Storacell holders

• 1 x Neck Gaiter

… what’s in yours, have an awesome Bank Holiday weekend – S23

**BANK HOLIDAY SALE 25% OFF – GET EM’ BEFORE THEY’RE GONE**

‘Bank Holiday Sale – 25% Off’ – back by popular demand and now with

an all new additional variant sticker – get em’ here: http://s23familia.bigcartel.com/product/s23-familia-stickers

**NOW WITH MORE NEW DESIGNS**

Plaster your ‘Blaster Cases’ your stocks, kit and even gear or coffee mugs with hard wearing S23Familia Sticker pride

Each Sticker set contains:

• x 1 S23 Ranger Diamonds sticker

• x 1 S23 Beer Mat sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Rated Plastic Deth’ ESRB sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Plastic Deth’ sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Mas Grey’ NSW sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘S23 Deth’ Skull

• x 1 ‘Mystery’ sticker variant A*

• x 1 ‘Mystery’ sticker variant B*

(*whilst stocks last)

Överkill – Kifaru Urban Zippy Pack Spotlight by No.1 Jimmy Pie

Överkill – Kifaru Urban Zippy Pack Spotlight by No.1 Jimmy Pie

Funnily enough, today marks the 3rd year anniversary of my very own ‘Pie Slicer’ from Jim over at No1. Jimmy Pie Knives

Needless to say, after three years of work, use and abuse – with a little care and maintenance it’s going as strong as ever …

Albeit it’s picked up what I think is some rather fetching patina …

Now, I’ve been meaning to get Jim on the blog for quite sometime, however, if not quite found the angle I was after – and he is a very busy man. In between cups of coffee he’s found toiling away crafting exquisitely functional knives, related accessories and ephemera in his incredible workshop hidden, somewhere in the depths of leafy suburbia …

I know this much, Jim is exceptionally well thought of, not just by me, or his customers and legions of fans but his contemporaries within the industry.

He’s forged, or should that be ‘carved’ a reputation through his intimate dialogue of photos of knives, axes and hatchets, often modified and detailed to bespoke customer requirements – and, have been seen subsequently across the globe in the hands of outdoorsmen, every day carry enthusiasts, hiking community as well as Law Enforcement and Military too …

I’ve got my own, and plan a second (I blame you Jim for sending that phot) – but what has attracted many, is through his visual diary you often get a unique insight into how they are made, processes he’s developed and learnt. It’s a very affirming process, and even from a customers point of view, gives you a real personable account of your knifes creation …

Anyhow, on with this posts topic – Jim, like many of us, comes from a background of gear collecting, and as such, having more than a passing interest knows what works and what doesn’t – I’d noticed he’d been shifting a few pieces of Cordura and suspected it was for a higher purpose …

Enter The Kifaru Urban Zippy

Jim recently picked up a brand new Kifaru Urban Zippy, this model in Ranger Green.

In his original post he had this to say:

Little Bag, big capacity, I honestly don’t think I’ve owned a ruck in this size range that packs this much in with room to spare.

He went on to further explain and evidence with some great explanatory photos too:

I can still fit in my hammock or a set of base layers, the rear pouch is still empty too …

Better yet, Jim gave a run down on what he was packing too, giving not only example of the packs capabilities – but many of the things you should consider carrying on a leisure hike and or short stay out camping …

He explained:

… it lets you get to it all easily too, great design by Kifaru.

External Lid Pocket

Small Fixed Blade, Ruck Cover, External Lid Pocket – Spare Large Kifaru Pouch

Internal Lid Pocket

First Aid Kit

Main Pocket

• 1Ltr Nalgene Bottle

• Jet Boil PCS

• MRE

• GoreTex Bivvy

• Triple Aught Design Scarf

• Kifaru x 4 Pockets (Wash Kit, Brew Kit, Fire Kit, Snacks)

Left Side Zipper

• Shelter Kit

• Folding Saw

• Cordage

• Bungees

Right Side Zipper

• Tarpaulin

Outside Pockets

• 1 Ltr Nalgene

• Large Fixed Blade

Rear Pouch

• Empty (as you can see the pack is vacuous with room for much more despite its diminutive size)

Encouragingly, Jim is always keen and enthusiastic to engage questions solicited from followers and made the following poignant remarks. When asked about not having a proprietary ‘waist belt’ he explained:

It does have a simple waist strap, nothing padded, and you’d be correct, I wouldn’t want to do a full days hike with it as it is – but a light bimble (walk) and an overnight wild camp, it’d be fine …

The proof however, will be in the pudding as they say, when I get out and test it properly.

Further praise was evidenced by Jim:

… this feels perfect, in the 25ltr range, it’s been a while since I’ve had a Kifaru in my life, maybe three years, very happy to get one back …

With regards to the unique and innovative design, the side pockets:

It’s a damn neat idea!

Quick access to the bottom of the bag or the internal mesh pouch, genius and cool as f**k !!!

As he’d sent over additional phot’s for this very article he parted out with this great line:

The real game changer I think with a load like this is the internal frame …

You can keep up with Jim here over at No.1 Jimmy Pie Instagran and check our more from Kifaru here: http://www.kifaru.net/

He also sent over this stunning exclusive photo – showcasing his incredible craftsmanship alongside his Kifaru Pack – S23

**RESTOCKING STICKERS – GET EM’ BEFORE THEY’RE GONE**

Restocking stickers, back by popular demand and now with

an all new additional variant sticker – get em’ here: http://s23familia.bigcartel.com/product/s23-familia-stickers

**NOW WITH MORE NEW DESIGNS**

Plaster your ‘Blaster Cases’ stocks, kit and gear or even coffee mugs with hard wearing S23 Familia Sticker pride

Each Sticker set contains:

• x 1 S23 Ranger Diamonds sticker

• x 1 S23 Beer Mat sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Rated Plastic Deth’ ESRB sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Plastic Deth’ sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘Mas Grey’ NSW sticker

• x 1 S23 ‘S23 Deth’ Skull

• x 1 ‘Mystery’ sticker variant A*

• x 1 ‘Mystery’ sticker variant B*

* (*whilst stocks last)