Published on January 18th, 2013 | by Morgan Flanagan Creagh3
Asking Alexandria live: ‘This is where dignity comes to get drunk and die’
Our intrepid reporter ventures to an under 18s ‘metalcore’ gig to witness drunk teens throwing bras at unintelligible singers.
For those of you who haven’t heard of Asking Alexandria, they play something called ‘metalcore’. This, Wikipedia tells me, is a mix between extreme metal and hardcore punk. This music, as you can imagine, sounds like a mass genocide. They should have called themselves Asking Auschwitz.
I arrive at the Asking Alexandria gig in my suit from the office, and quickly notice I stand out amongst the sea of black clothes like Bono at an ‘I’m Not a Wanker’ convention. This, I am informed by the barman, is an under 18s event, the people there (who I can only describe as the polar opposite of teeniboppers) range in age from around 13 to possibly 17, and boy are they hammered.
I have been to the venue many times before, having been dragged and forced to watch some arsehole play CDs, just so everyone can justify sniffing things up their nose. Not that there’s anything wrong with that, but trying to enjoy yourself while listening to ‘music’ that sounds like a vibrator rattling around in a washing machine while some fuckwit shouts “Party for Berlin!” into a microphone is rather difficult. But I digress..
16-year old-girls in corsets, miniskirts and suspenders dousing themselves in water and throwing their bras on stage is what greets me when I get inside. The warm-up act, Motionless (who look like a cross between Adam Ant and Slipknot), are roaring down the microphone, while sweaty fat boys are moshing and writing slogans on each other with sharpie markers. The crowd are lapping up every soul-chilling screech Motionless are throwing at them and begging for more. I think they play the Charmed theme song at one stage too.
There are pierced septums and scrotums everywhere, accompanied by soon-to-be-regretted band name tattoos, and every dark corner contains a teenager being finger-banged by another sweaty youth. But with the handjobs and the cockrings also come the concerned parents, who stand uncomfortably beside the covered bar. They hold coats and, I assume, wonder why they decided to buy pound shop condoms on that fateful day thirteen years ago.
While She Sleeps is the second act to play. They, in the words of Forrest Gump, “like to say the F word a whole lot. F this, and F that, and every time they said the F word, people – for some reason – well, they cheered.” At this stage, the children in black start a water fight; I also first notice the overpowering smell of teenage boy, that mix of body odour and cum that I had long forgotten about. I suppose it makes sense to keep these gigs dry – giving the crowd any more booze than their stolen gin and cider would certainly result in headless bats and pregnancy.
Giving the crowd any more booze than their stolen gin and cider would certainly result in headless bats and pregnancy.
One thing I must say about metalcore is this: the drummers are truly amazing, and completely unsung. The gimp at the front who screeches into a mic gets bras thrown at him, while the hardest working man in show-business is stuck at the back, banging away. It’s drummers who should have the 15-year-old’s bra, not the shouter. At some stages I wonder if the singers even know the words, or if they’ve just gone on there to roar for an hour, collecting bras and flirting with an appearance on the Sex Offender’s Register.
Upon returning from the bathroom, which features such great moments as ‘teenager vomits on own lap’ and ‘teenager vomits on friend’s lap, with a vengeance’, my girlfriend/ photographer comes out with the line “This is where dignity comes to get drunk on naggings (200ml bottles of vodka) and die.” A valid point, I think, as we wade through the sweaty urchins to get to the main event.
Asking Alexandria, too, shout in pseudo-American accents and have a brilliant but under-appreciated drummer. They lack the pantomime of Motionless or the cursing of While She Sleeps, but my God do they have a lot of bras. A shit-tonne of teenage girls will go home tonight, un-supported but happy in the knowledge that their idols might be sniffing their brassieres in the green room later on.
I was once at a Jape gig when someone threw a cup of water on the stage. The band promptly stopped playing and complained about the wetness of their instruments. This, I can safely say, wouldn’t happen at an Asking Alexandria gig. You could fire used tampons at these guys and they’d thank you. Then make tea.
Am I a metalcore convert? No. But the crowd loved every eyeball-shaking second of it. So if you want to put on makeup, finger a 16-year-old and listen to men screaming at you, these guys have you covered. But if it’s too loud and you’re too old, stay well clear.
Photos by Jana Culic