Bongzilla + Dopethrone + Sons of Otis @ The Underworld, Camden, London

Bongzilla The Underworld London 01-07-2018
Spread the metal:

Bongzilla + Dopethrone
+ Sons of Otis

@ The Underworld, Camden, London

1st July 2018

Review and Photos by: Ryan Whitwell / Shotison Media

It’s the kind of line up us sludge/stoner fans love! Three heavy hitters of the genre, travelling across the pond and teaming up to blast some eardrums in Camden Town!Bonzilla_Underworld_Poster

Toronto‘s stoner veterans, Sons of Otis opened the night with a rib-rattling set. They haven’t played London for about 18 years, but that didn’t seem to make any difference as they powered through their dirty, fuzzy, sludge.

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Sons of Otis

Sons of Otis set the tone slow and low, which with this lineup is exactly what the crowd expected and wanted to hear.
Plenty of banter between songs, which is how I knew it had been 18 years. But the bass cabs were really working overtime. It was an onslaught of low frequency rumbling incessantly.

SonsofOtis_Shotison_01-07-2018_010
Sons of Otis

Sons of Otis
Sons of Otis

Slow and long format tracks saw the frontman really getting into it, stumbling around as the bassist was stomping to the big heavy beats.

Sons of Otis
Sons of Otis

I even got myself a discarded drumstick, which was battered and splintered most likely due to the massive hits it was being subjected to. Solid start to this trilogy of doomy goodness.

Dopethrone
Dopethrone

“If you don’t like your city then destroy the shit out of it,” says frontman Vincent Houde of Dopethrone. If you don’t know the attitude this Montréal-based band have, that should give a rough idea, i.e. not many fucks are given by these hard and heavy sludge singers!

Dopethrone
Dopethrone

I have been meaning to see them for ages and they didn’t disappoint! Bags of energy and aggression. I think their latest album, TransCanadian Anger, is one of the best of the year so far.

Dopethrone
Dopethrone

Weed smoke began making itself known as someone was probably having a cheeky toke somewhere. But it’s hard to imagine doom-laden sludge without the smell of that particular herb lingering in the air.

Dopethrone
Dopethrone
Dopethrone
Dopethrone

Each track was a proper headbanger culminating in a guest appearance from a few members of another favourite of mine, Gurt, to take on the roles of vocalists for Scum Fuck Blues to round off the set.

Dopethrone
Gurt onstage with Dopethrone
Dopethrone
Dopethrone

The dirty Fuzz and thick bass intensified when Bongzilla started up. The weed smoke also intensified, including on two occasions when Mike the vocals/guitarist was handed a couple of spliffs from people in the crowd.

Bongzilla
Bongzilla

Never seen someone tank a joint quite like that, he was like a human smoke machine! Even sticking it up his nose so he could keep puffing and singing (if you can call Bongzilla’s vocals “singing”?).

Bongzilla
Bongzilla

The other bands were hanging out on the side of the stage; my press pass slowing me to do the same, and the mood was great. Everyone was well into it.

BongzillaBongzilla
Bongzilla

Bongzilla
Bongzilla

Shout out to Dixie of Weedeater fame who was also a part of Bongzilla’s history with a call for fans to get “Dixie high”.

Bongzilla
Bongzilla

The moshpit didn’t seem to let up too often and there was the occasional crowd surfer, with one lad jumping up on stage to hand Mick his second spliff. The Underworld has rules against crowd surfing and obviously smoking anything indoors isn’t allowed in the UK, but this didn’t seem like a crowd of law-abiding citizens.

Bongzilla
Bongzilla

For about 45 minutes the set felt like a weed-induced jam session. I didn’t notice a set list on the floor so I assume the extended jam and “just go with it” attitude is pretty standard with these guys.

Bongzilla
Bongzilla

Vincent Houde joined in with the law-breaking and noise-making for a bit as well. The whole vibe was one of not really caring about anything, just playing big heavy riffs and having a good time.

Bongzilla
Bongzilla

A fantastic evening of live music, I’m not sure those bands will be allowed back at The Underworld before weed is legalised in the UK, so I feel pretty lucky to have seen three bands from across the pond that I’ve wanted to see and all in one smokey and loud venue in my home city! Lucky me!

Bongzilla
Bongzilla