Despite the spooky soundtrack blasting out of the PA, there was an air of sadness in the air tonight. This was the penultimate Shallow Leisure gig at the Waiting Room before it was to be shut down in 2017 to be turned into student flats. But tonight was also a celebration of the amazing community in Colchester and the music it hosts.
Opening the night were Colchester doomsters Myopic Empire making their first and only appearance at The Waiting Room. Sounding like the child of Pentagram, Myopic Empire brought the doom and put on a good show for the duration they were on. Myopic Empire had the energy and riffs but were very humble and grateful at the same time. 2016 was a good year for Myopic Empire, but 2017 is going to be better.
Wargs might be my new favourite band. For the first song they dressed in wolf masks and performed the theme to John Carpenter’s Halloween. But after that they took the masks off and performed an amazing set of blackened hardcore, think All Pigs Must Die on a Mayhem binge. Wargs were simply brilliant and I cannot wait for their demo this year.
Up next were Colchester’s finest blackened screamo warriors Jøtnarr. I saw Jøtnarr’s first gig at the Waiting Room in October 2014, and now I was watching their penultimate gig at the venue, it’s amazing how time flies. Jøtnarr as usual were amazing; from their opening cover of King Diamond‘s ‘Halloween,’ their Burn and Bury material or their exciting new material, they were just superb as usual. It’s clear they’re going to miss The Waiting Room and the community will miss them playing the venue as once again they were top.
Punk legends The Domestics took to the stage next and once again were wonderful. I only caught a short set of theirs at Shallow Leisure Free Fest to a power outage, but this time they played an incredible full set. True punk in their show and in spirit, spouting anti-hate messages in a time when they are most needed. The Domestics were awesome and I hope they achieve more success than they already have.
Only Chestburster could headline this night, no other band in Colchester would be more perfect. The horror grindcore kings were amazing once again, heavy, hiliarous and horrifyingly good. The songs came thick and fast, the human pyramid was another classic moment and the dedication to grinding out was a pleasure to be a part of it. Chestburster are like Colchester’s answer to Santa, their yearly Halloween shows are a reason to celebrate life and are fun for all the family. Absolute class!