Brutal. Uncompromising. Sweaty. Loud. Ignored by the mainstream media. UK Hardcore is alive and well, and one of the top bands in the country is right here under our noses, in Peterborough.
Vendetta – like ESP – celebrates 20 years this month with a new album and a triumphant homecoming headlining gig at the Met Lounge on Saturday September 29. Drummer Gavin Spiers, bass player Leigh Jungic, front man Tom Amos and guitarists Warren Bekir and Wes Urban are all Boro boys and have mostly devoted half of their lives to creating this monster of rock.
In two decades, the lads have toured both America and Europe, and have played all over this country – including a slot at the prestigious Bloodstock Festival, the spiritual home of metal, in 2016. Slayer, Anthrax and Twisted Sister topped the bill that year. Over the years, they’ve also shared stages with many of the other biggest names of the genre, including New York’s Madball, Death Before Dishonor from Massachusetts and Los Angeles band Terror.
“I’ve lost track of how many gigs we’ve played,” said guitarist Wes Urban. “We’ve been lucky enough to travel across half of the world to play live shows, and we’ve met a whole load of fantastic people along the way. The feeling of brotherhood in this kind of music is unreal, and that’s the inspiration behind the new album.”
But what is UK Hardcore? It’s a name also occasionally used on the rave scene, but this sort of music couldn’t be more different from what you may find there. It’s a mixture of heavy metal and punk. If you look to Wikipedia for knowledge: “Most bands use tuning ranging between Drop D and A, although lower tunings, as well as 7 and 8 string guitars are not uncommon. Drummers typically use a lot of double bass technique and general drumming styles across the board.” If you’d rather go for Vendetta’s own description: “We go out and ****ing smash it!”
The mosh pit at the Met Lounge is the place to be on September 29, with three support acts lined up, namely the Deadites, Smokescreen and exciting new Stamford thrash band Morti Viventi. Expect black T-shirts, expect testosterone, expect decibels, expect a real feeling of brotherhood/camaraderie/call-it-what-you-want.
The new album, The Laws of Brotherhood is the culmination of a year’s hard work and combines some surprise guest appearances with over 50 minutes of original material and creative samples. Although the release date of the CD is set for September 29, it may be available as a download or to stream a few days before that.
“I reckon we must be one of the busiest and hardest working bands in the area,” added guitarist Warren Bekir. “We have loads of gigs booked all over the country over the next few months and, of course, the 20th anniversary which is a real milestone.”
Oh, and if you’ve spotted that the ‘DCHC’ in their logo doesn’t actually stand for UK Hard Core, have a bonus point. It’s their own brand – Diesel City Hard Core, paying homage to Peterborough’s industrial heritage.
Photo: Live shot by Lensmarc Photography