Four bands for less than £20 on a Bank Holiday school night I’ll have that especially when it’s Australias Clowns and the last-minute addition of Pizzatramp. Six thirty doors with a star of 6.45 is like a straight edge mega bill set up and only a few minutes late Pizzatramp take to the Exchange stage and proceed to plow through some of their best material and a few new ones. As per Jim is on form as he regales the Bristol crowd with how he’d carry out the demise of Suella Braverman to howls of laughter and much applause. Of course, we’re treated to the awesome ‘There’s Been a Murder’ and the awesome ‘Millions Of Dead Goths’ but it’s the intro and execution of ‘I Do My Own Research’ that gets the biggest cheer and once again Jim is spot on. It’s a short and brief set but it shows the best of Pizzatramp and their on-fire brand of Hardcore. Let’s wait no longer and have a new album of new material please gents. What a way to open a night of loud raucous punk n metal, now follow that!

Skin Failure have the unenviable task of following Pizzatramp and these southern thrashers waste no time in getting down to business and thrashing out. I was unfamiliar with these gents but they certainly do no harm by just turning up turning on and thrashing like fuck. Frontman Will got off the stage and in the pit to engage with the punters as drinks were spilt and bodies began to pile up. Their Slayer meets Power Trip with some municipal Waste thrown into the party is about as Thrash as you can get and they did it so well getting local metal heads out in force seemed like a good choice and to top it off they had some bangers and Will is in possession of one Hell of a thrashers scream at times he was truly remarkable – Great stuff. ‘Meat Pond Down By The River’ and if you doubt me check out ‘Give R By The River As Bridges Fell’ step aside Tom Arayer Will is in Da House.

The main support is the hard rockin’ March from those there Netherlands and a Belgian bass player I believe. Mashing up some hard rock with a bit of punk rock attitude they went about their work with diligence and a professionalism that the previous two bands might have been lacking but for some reason, their set seemed to go on longer and didn’t grab me like the previous two. Maybe its the lack of speed and thrash or that I wasn’t familiar with their music as with Pizzatramp, who knows? That’s not to say they weren’t any good because that wouldn’t be fair they did have some really good tunes. Fleur was a very able frontperson no doubt about it and the musicianship was good with Bass player Jeroen thumping some great runs like ‘All On Red’. ‘Second To Destroy’ and ‘Reapers Delight’ went down really well.

Onto tonight’s headliners and a band I’ve managed to see quite a few times over several of their albums and this is the second time supporting the new ‘Endless’ album and to be fair the highlights of the current set are indeed tracks off the epic album. ‘Formaldehyde’, ‘Deathwish’, and ‘Bisexual Awareness’ are all superb but the show stopper has to be a magnificent ‘I Gotta Knife’. Fear not long-term fans the band still chug out plenty of early tunes from ‘Bad Blood’ and ‘Lucid Again’ and even without Hanny J they are a formidable beast that rocks like fuck and Stevie Williams is still an amazing ball of energy spending time in the audience being carried around or screaming his lungs out its a beautiful thing.

I dare anyone to leave a Clowns show and not be exhilarated with what they’ve just seen and heard and Melbourne has birthed a beast of a hardcore that just seem to get better and better. Catch them in a sweaty club whilst you can – Clowns ain’t no joke they simply rule. Top night even if I didn’t get home until the wee small hours due to cancelled trains and then a train strike taking effect. but boy was it worth it, I’d do it again tomorrow.

Author: Dom Daley