Saturday the 13th of May 2017 is long since etched into my musical memory banks, largely because it was on this date that, after a short run of UK gigs, Exit_International played (what for now could very well be) their final show in front of a “Sold Out” crowd at their spiritual home of Le Pub in Newport.
I was there, but then again where else would I have been, having religiously followed the band since I first experienced them live in Cardiff supporting The Eighties Matchbox B-Line Disaster all the way back in 2009. In the following years, I must have seen them a good dozen or so times before they eventually split in 2015 when singer/bass batterer Scott Lee Andrews decided the time was right to emigrate to Australia.
So, with the chance to see Scott along with his fellow bass brute Fudge and human metronome Adam back on a UK stage delivering all the best tracks no one other than the most clued-in got to hear from their duo of genre-busting albums, it meant that I along with about another hundred lovers of musical alchemy found ourselves crammed into Le Pub’s now infamous old top floor loft space location – you know the one with the perma-sticky floor, sweat-stained walls and hilarious Queen cartoon drawing above the stairs down to the main entrance.
The most impressive thing about this thirteen track official live release then (which is available to pre-order exclusively via Undergroove’s Bandcamp page linked below) is that it somehow captures all of the above, largely thanks to a savagely brutal Dave Draper mix. This cacophony of sound is almost guaranteed to put your fucking windows through as the band’s “I’ve got a dick like an elephants’ trunk” pissabout intro segues straight into the savage grind of ‘Glory Horn’ before that, in turn, mutates straight into the band’s unofficial dogging anthem ‘Sex W/Strangers’.
Exit_International has never sounded better than they do right here, playing without any pressure on them, well nothing other than to satisfy the filthy cunts (Scott’s description not mine) rammed onto the dancefloor and who scream and go suitably bonkers in all the right places. How we all never ended up crashing down into the ground floor bar of Le Pub during the insanity that accompanied ‘Chainsaw Song’ that night still beggar’s belief. It’s all captured here for you though, in all its wall to wall stomach quivering bass overdriven bastardry, to either baste yourself in the band’s crazy magic juices all over again or maybe just sit agog wondering just what the hell you missed out on first time around.
Of course, in a perfect world ‘Sherman Fang’ would have been number one in the UK hit parade for a month of Sundays, but let’s face it folks the world is not perfect, it’s fucked and that’s what makes Exit_International the most perfect soundtrack for your daily routine.
I’m going to break with reviewing traditions at this point and not single out the other highlights contained within ‘Live At Le Pub’ simply because just owning this release is going to be the highlight of anyone’s record collection. Go buy yourself a copy and who knows, perhaps one day we might just get to see these mercurial fucks live once again?
Author: Johnny Hayward