Enemy of the music business

When Napalm Death formed back in 1981 I think it’s a safe bet to say that nobody expected them to still be around nearly 30 years later, let alone gracing the second stage at Download! Yet here they are delivering what proves to be one of the sets of the day.

From the beginning it’s fast, very fast infact and it’s good to see that their advancing years have not slowed them down at all. They get a good pit going at the front, that brief pauses for breath aside, keeps going throughout the set. Front man Barney introduces each song and interacts well with the crowd and it’s just as well he takes the time to do so as you would have no clue what the songs were about otherwise! They mix old and new tracks from ‘Suffer the Children’ to ‘Dictat’ and ‘When All Is Said and Done’ and the crowd love it. The performance is unbelievably intense in it’s ferocity and relentlessness and even when they do slow down a little they never lose it. It’s gloriously insane and all good fun, Napalm Death just completely rip it up today.

Barney has hardly stopped moving throughout and how the rest of the band manage to play so fast for so long is beyond me! Thirty years of practice no doubt. This performance really is a lesson to everyone else on this stage today, however cutting edge you think you are, however vibrant and ‘in your face’ you think you are, you are nothing compared to this! They bring it all to a head with a cover of the Dead Kennedy’s ‘Nazi Punks Fuck Off’, at least that’s what they said it was, I confess it was unrecognisable to me! There haven’t been many performances this weekend that blew me away but this was one. Stunning.