Refused Live 12th August 2012

At The Forum

Some bands live, die, and leave their legacy behind them. There are bands you wished you could have had the chance to witness, but assume it will never be. Refused have been broken up for near 15 years, and when I heard that they had reformed I had to see them.

Their last UK tour had them pulling at most a 100-200 member audience. But The Shape Of Punk To Come has become a cult album. Having the a dynamic and experimental approach to hardcore their influence has been wide spread, yet no one else seems to have pulled it off.

I would have travelled far and wide too see them, but London suited me fine. I waited for the box office to open and the tickets sold out in the time it took for me to enter my credit card details. Fortunately a friend got a spare. The demand was great enough for them to add a second date. The fact that their audience has grown so much, whilst they have been disbanded, is testimony to their quality and the power of word of mouth.

The crowd was eager and excited to see the band. There was a level of cheering far beyond what was typical. The anticipation built as the background loop slowly rose in volume. After what seemed an eternity the band took to the stage. The lights flashed and immediately they went into Worms of the Senses/Faculties of the Skull.

It was an intense and dynamic set. It was good to see them enjoying themselves. Reunions seem to be a bit of a trend at the moment, and its good to see that they remain true to their original spirit. Dennis, the frontman, prefaced Summertime vs Punk Routine with the statement that he thought they were still relevant. An important piece of context before screaming ‘Rather be forgotten than remembered for giving in’ in the chorus.

The rebellious spirit remained. Both the support and Refused made a point of mentioning controversy over Pussy Riot. Really, it was just a good show. Everyone sang along to New Noise and the finale of  Tannhäuser / Derivè was immense.

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