Ministry, HMV Forum, Friday 20th July

Ministry, back on the road for the first time since a split in 2008, have lost nothing of their intensity and rage. In front of a pretty packed Forum crowd, mainman Al Jourgenson snarled and barked out barbs of political rage and personal angst all night. He looked at his demonic best, almost crouching behind the mike stand (augmented by a tasteful skull at the pointy end) with the spotlights picking out his multi-studded eyebrows. The band cranked out furious guitar, rhythm and keyboard loops underlit by spooky red and sometimes green illumination. The whole show was played out beneath three giant (well, for the Forum anyway) screens depicting videos of images inspired by Jourgenson’s dark mind intercut with performance footage. Melodramatic metal is alive and well…

It was a gig of two halves really. For an hour or so, the heavier, looser and speedier metal of their anti-President Bush back catalogue was plundered, like  No W (Houses of the Molé), Senor Peligro (Rio Grande Blood) and Watch Yourself (The Last Sucker). Material from this year’s comeback album, Relapse also got an airing. 99 Percenters was brutal. After the excellent title track from the new album, Al declared that he couldn’t complete the gig sober and asked for a joint. Eventually he was passed one from the crowd, which he lit and then roared into The Last Sucker. Has anyone explained our smoking laws to Mr J?

The band disappeared and returned for an extended encore of their industrial metal masterpieces. This was what the audience, pushing the 40-something envelope, were waiting for. After a stunning, dramatic Psalm 69, Al growls “So, you like the old stuff huh?” N.W.O., a stonking Just One Fix, Thieves and other early 90’s classics duly followed.

So in the end, a good gig. Despite the bass being booted up so much that it often swamped the biting guitar, despite being made to wait for the best stuff, and despite no Stigmata or Jesus Built My Hotrod, the punters went home happy. One shirtless, multi-tattooed bloke immediately plugged into his ipod. I could hear The Land of Rape and Honey pounding around his head on the way out. Some people just can’t get enough.

 By Dave Atkinson


The latest Facebook Live session from Canadian singer-songwriter Josh Taerk was streamed on Sunday 20 December., imbued with a festive flavour to raise the spirits

More about Josh:

David Randall presents a weekly show on Get Ready to ROCK! Radio, Sundays at 22:00 BST (GMT+1, repeated on Mondays and Fridays), when he invites listeners to ‘Assume The Position’. This show was first broadcast on 20 December 2020 and announces the results of the Popular Poll for Best of 2020.

UK Blues Broadcaster of the Year (2020) Pete Feenstra presents his weekly Rock & Blues Show on Tuesday at 19:00 ( BST, GMT+1) as part of a five hour blues rock marathon “Tuesday is Bluesday at GRTR!”. The show is repeated on Wednesdays at 22:00, Fridays at 20:00). This show was first broadcast 20 December 2020 and includes Pete’s best of the year selections

Listen in to Get Ready to ROCK! Radio…
Click the appropriate icons at the top of the page.

Featured Albums w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

09:00-12:00 UNRULY CHILD Our Glass House (Frontiers)
12:00-13:00 SERGEANT STEEL Truck Tales (Boyz Tyme Records)
14:00-16:00 DAN REED Liftoff (Zero Entertainment)

Power Plays w/c 11 January 2021 (Mon-Fri)

BLACK SPIDERS – Good Times (Dark Riders Records/Cargo Records)
GRAVITY MACHINE Standing Stones (Zyse Records)
EMPIIRES Love Or Hate (TLG Entertainment/INgrooves)
RAY FENWICK Tam Tam (Singsong Music)
DEAD REYNOLDS Voices (The Fort)
LAYLA ZOE Don’t Wanna Help Anyone (indie)

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