A Staring Contest with a Beardy Guy – Clutch live (Portsmouth Wedgewood Rooms, 10/04/07)

Supported by Faint.

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I first caught sight of Clutch when they supported CKY in 2005, and couldn’t resist seeing them at their own show. I am not familiar with most of Clutch’s catalogue, but all of my favourites came up. They opened with ‘10001110101’ (which I’m proud to have written correctly without looking it up), played personal favourite ‘Burning Beard’, and closed on ‘Electric Worry’. It was hilarious to hear the calm organ sounds at the beginning only for the room to jump as the guitars entered at ear-splitting volume (“RIBONUCLIEC ACID FREAKOUT!”). Holy crap!

It was all pretty intense. They were incredibly loud, and having managed to get right to the front, I was crushed and got some evil stares from Neil Fallon. He really grits his teeth. Should I consider myself honoured by this? Probably not, but it was still awesome.I felt a bit dizzy at the front (at my insistence. I don’t think [friend] really wanted to be there) as I was dehydrated and squashed, and when in such a state, it’s especially weird for Neil to be screaming “BANG BANG BANG BANG! VAMANOS! VAMANOS!”, directly in my face as I was stared down.

(NOTE: This is interesting to read in 2019, because since the era written about here, Clutch have found much more of a sense of humour. I can’t quite pinpoint now why I felt the way I did. What it me just being a little intimidated in my earliest gig-going days, of was Neil really that pissed off?)

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