The White Rabbit, Plymouth – 18th June 2009
A quick glance at the tour poster tells me Coalesce are really getting about on their first ever jaunt across the pond. Amsterdam, Berlin, Prague, Zurich, Hellfest in France… but Plymouth?!?!! Someone’s fucked up real bad here.
So as expected it’s not as rammed as it should be, with some blissfully unaware locals, some fans from the slightly hotter musical bed of Exeter, plus a gaggle of morons willing to drive from Bristol on a schoolnight (i.e. me and some chums dragged along to keep me awake). We arrive mega-late due to Google map miscalculations only to find no bands have played yet, our relief at not missing Coalesce offset by the fact that we’ll be getting home at a correspondingly late time. There’s only one support band, Cornwall’s Crocus having pulled out due to the drummer being on holiday. Local chunners Castor Troy (not the defunct one from the Midlands with Montana folk in) tickle the cochleas prior to the main event with their tight but utterly run-of-the-mill haircut hardcore and have the good grace to play for 20 minutes, though it did seem longer.
Coalesce seem like grizzled dads and nice dudes, highlighted by them dishing out a tray of free whisky shots from their rider prior to starting. A couple of songs in however, and they then seem like apeshit lunatics when they short circuit the lights and Jes Steineger flips the tray of remaining shots ceilingwards with his guitar, all of which combined with the dense ferocity of their mangled metal hardcore creates a fairly terrifying experience. I’ve never had whisky in my eye before and it hurts. The band gives it their all, especially Steineger who is either on the floor or on the audience, slamming the hell out of his suffering body and guitar. Ingram’s thick, phlegmy roar holds together well, and the rhythm section kills us all.
Somewhere in the melee they played a select bunch of songs from the entire back-catalogue: Have Patience, cowards.com, Jesus In The Year 2000, A Disgust For Details, One On The Floor, You Can’t Kill Us All, A Safe Place and 73-C all featured, in amongst a bunch of new ones from “Ox” which sounded great too. Well worth the 13-year wait even if my head hit the pillow at 4 a.m.