Corrosion Of Conformity swing by Manchester as part of their UK and Irish tour with Plainride in support.
Corrosion Of Conformity are a legendary band; certainly in metal circles. Throughout their four decades as a band they have toured with some of the biggest bands in the world, been involved in many great projects (e.g. Dave Grohl’s Probot) and released a slew of great albums along the way. There has been tragedy with the passing of drummer Reed Mullin, and there have been several instances of line-up changes over the years. Now, post pandemic, COC are out on the road playing somewhat smaller venues and plundering their back catalogue for all the big hitters to raucus audiences.
In tow as support are German trio, Plainride. They have recently released their self titled third album on Ripple Music. It is from this record that they make up most of their set. That being said, it is El Coyote, from 2018’s Life on Ares record, that opens the show in barnstorming fashion. Immediately, the trio’s powerful approach to the music is clear. ‘How y’all doing Manchester?’ asks Max Rebel; vocalist and guitarist with the band.
Fire In The Sky is the first new cut aired. Minus the brass of the album version, the track packs a punch. The bluesy rasp of Rebel evokes the spirit of some of the finest singers of the 1970’s (see Paul Rodgers). The Bread Shed is a tight venue, and thus there isn’t a lot of space to cut loose on stage! Plainride’s energy is effervescent from the stage and their rapport with the crowd builds superbly.
Hello, Operator has a Chuck Brown We Need Some Money Vibe; the smiles that emit from the band are electric as they lay down this funky number. There is more than a hint of Clutch in the delivery of Plainride’s repertoire (no bad thing at all!)
A couple of seeming tech glitches are expertly navigated with crowd participation and the ability to stretch out jams if needed. A mellower piece comes in the form of Shepherd from the new album. Whilst it is mellow in its beginning, it builds to a wonderful cacophony of driving riffs and towering drums. There is also a fantastic solo to cap off a spectacular song. With a bunch of new fans on board, Plainride depart.
And so, onto Corrosion Of Conformity. Consummate pros, COC lay down a marker by hitting the stage to the very familiar strains of La Grange from that little ol’ band from Texas. With bass vibrating every sinew of the venue, Bottom Feeder (El que come abajo) opens up the set with a sort of tune up jam feel.
From the off, the crowd in Manchester is hot. There is a feverish atmosphere in front of the stage with plenty of movement and enthusiasm. It feels like The Bread Shed is not big enough to contain the power of COC.
Paranoid Opioid has people crushing at the front as the punkier track gives off a hefty energy. Shake Like You sees more vociferous action from the crowd with people heading over the barriers at the front, onto the stage. This is quite remarkable being that the stage is so small (and stacked with Orange amplification!).
‘Make some noise, Manchester,’ says Keenan, ‘we’re good – just don’t knock my teeth out,’ he says in response to the crowd and the action they’re giving. He goes on; ‘Thanks for not forgetting about us…do you like heavy shit?’ The response is, as you can imagine, overwhelming. Seven Days, from 1994’s Deliverance, sees a slow headbang from the masses in Manchester; the chorus is also shouted loud and proud. It is this kind of monstrous song that helped cement COC on the global circuit. Señor Limpio also makes an appearance from the same record.
Pepper Keenan offers an animated vocal delivery to Diablo Blvd., following which, there are a few technical glitches again. ‘Take this time to hydrate,’ suggests the charismatic frontman before taking us back with a screamed ‘WISEBLOOOOOD,’ to kick off the title track from their 1996 album.
During Who’s Got The Fire, one of the tech crew tries to clear the stage of a couple of cans; Keenan halts the clean up and gives the can back from the stage. It is hard to see where the line between joviality and being pissed off is. Woody Weatherman comments on the stage getting smaller. Whichever way, the atmosphere inside The Bread Shed is exciting. It is these kind of atmospheres that make live music amazing.
‘I wanna see some proper English headbanging,’ requests Keenan before the Sabbath heavy Stonebreaker. 13 Angels offers a mass singalong before an emphatic set closer in the form of the classic Vote With A Bullet. C-O-C chants fill the air as the crowd demand more. The band dually oblige and offer a ‘deep cut’ to open the encore in the form of Born Again For The Last Time.
To close out a truly brilliant night, COC deliver two of their biggest songs; Albatross and Clean My Wounds. Again, the crowd shows a massive energy in throwing themselves around. Albatross is a hulking song and it is magnificent to hear it in amongst the setting of the show. As the song closes, it is deafening in The Bread Shed.
Thank yous are offered before Pepper speaks to the crowd one more time… ‘Alright Manchester – you know we go back – we got family here.’ Drummer, John Green, is from Manchester himself. Clean My Wounds is dedicated to the crowd in Manchester which tops off a superb night of some of the some of the best heavy metal around.
The Corrosion Of Conformity tour continues for the next couple of weeks, throughout May. Tickets can be purchased, here.
Categories: Live Reviews