BELLA BARTOCK joined the rock chicks at South Croydon’s long-running music venue
I was told beforehand to expect a larger crowd than usual at the Scream Lounge on Saturday. Apparently, the venue just off South End is a Pokestop, whatever that means.
It certainly seemed to be working, as the place was heaving on Saturday night, one of the hottest of the year, with a dedicated troupe of mostly black-clad music fans for Immortal Machinery’s Scream Lounge Takeover.
The show was opened up a local band, Out of Context, who delivered song after song with all the infectious energy you’d expect from an ambitious young band. This young group’s set had plenty of pop-orientated catchiness alongside their meaty riffs provided by leader guitarist Steve Klavins.
Following them were the night’s organisers, London-based hard rockers Immortal Machinery. The trio powered through with a dark, intense sound and baritone vocals. Their performance featured punchy, garage-rock songs from their first album – yes, they do still exist – as well as giving a debut to some material which has yet to be released.
Special guests of the evening were Swedish rockers Violent Divine. Raw, raunchy instrumental work and gritty vocals were the order of the day, with seasoned frontman Mike Divine rallying the crowd to chant “Skål”, which from my days travelling on the old Newcastle to Gothenburg steam trampers, I seem to remember means “Cheers!”
I was struck by how our Nordic visitors, their set completed and once offstage, were quickly surrounded by enthusiastic new English fans who had clearly been won over by the Östergötland quartet.
Rounding off the night were local thrash metal veterans Dead Before Mourning, who I am told enjoy considerable popularity both in Croydon and elsewhere in London.
This group seemed to have come with a mob of dedicated fans, from across Kent and Sussex as well as south London, as their DBM T-shirts could be seen everywhere, which certainly impressed me, considering that they have no backing from any record label.
I stayed behind for an icy gin fizz after the show, and had a chat with the Scream Lounge management. Clearly, the venue continues to support underground music, and they are offering plenty of opportunities in the coming weeks for music fans to discover new favourites.
They told me that there’s something called a “grunge/emo night” on Saturday August 6, and then there’s Scream Fest across two nights, August 19-20, featuring some of the area’s best local talent. I may be back.
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