One of those bands you're going to have to see...

'NO STAGE DIVING!' reads the threatening message daubed across the wall in the tiny boiler room that is Kingston's mighty venue, The Fighting Cocks. It's a plea that's rebuffed at gigs across the land; a futile rule set in place to restrict the fall out that rock n' roll can inspire as soon as a band hits the stage. But how often is it that this restriction flouted to such a level that the crowd manage to dive into, and onto, and all over the stage? Wave after wave of flailing limbs, careering bodies and frenzied faces stretching out hungrily for the mic like a scene from 'Dawn of the Dead'? Behold the power of hardcore punk. Witness the power of Ceremony.

As usual, those affable scamps down at Banquet Records staged a fine show for the evening. There would be a little something to suit all degrees of punk tastes, as well as providing some excellent double take-worthy lookalikes. (Well, we thought the young, tattooed version of Spaced's Daisy Steiner in Riot Grrl opener Good Throb was awesome. And there seemed to be more than a passing resemblence to Tottenham Hotspur midfielder Rafael Van Der Vaart in the sweating face of the headliner's bassist, Justin Davis. But then again, maybe the heat played tricks on our mind.) Following the coolly received performance from straight-edge Londoners Stab, Sauna Youth delivered a sterling example of the evolution of punk. No longer does the genre belong to the scruffy and the manic, it has found a home within the pockets of trendy kids with a penchant for high-speed rhythms and spiky guitar. We'll eat our vintage bowler if we don't see this band in a moody tent at Shoreditch's 1-2-3-4 festival.

But the night really did get owned, pwned and thoroughly conquered by the show Ceremony put on. Bringing latest release Zoo into violently explosive life, the Californian quintet demonstrated just where they gained their cult status as a live act. Raw, dominating aggression commands the performance from the very first grunge-tinted notes of Hysteria, and something truly special happens. Perhaps it's a combination of the intimate venue, the completely immersed crowd and the maniacal charisma that pulsates from the stage; but you can't help but imagine if this is how it might have felt to have seen one of the old school icons for the very first time, before they got big. Despite Ceremony having the best part of seven years under their belt, they still possess the heat of garage punk, and a breed of hardcore that attacks like a viper.

While this tour provides a good platform to showcase the latest record, it'd be a travesty to overlook the older material. Tracks from the spectacularly hateful Violence Violence are so brutal they bore a consuming effect on every single person gathered around the stage, inspiring so many to lose themselves completely... in a way Eminem just wouldn't understand. It's not until you hear the unrelenting bludgeoning beat of the Ronert Park EP's Sick with frontman Ross Farrar's crazed staring eyes would have witnessing a hoard of red, sweating faces surging towards him that you can really understand what it means. No 'no stage diving' sign could ever have stemmed the chaos that ensued.

Loud, insane and out of control, Ceremony are a band that you need to go and live for yourself. This is hardcore at it's purest and it's best. Believe the hype.