Bridgehouse 2, London – 11 May 2012

"Hydra are at war"

[Live photo]

[Live photo]

Make no mistake, Hydra are at war. With whom or what is never made entirely clear, but performing in front of a projected backdrop featuring religious iconography and symbols of tyranny and injustice, it's probably fair to say that Hydra's cup of bugbears runneth over. Whilst their austere live setup of Nick on vocals and Rog bashing seven bells out of a drum kit consisting of two propane gas cylinders and a dustbin is a perfect metaphor for our troubled times, though you have to question the perceived wisdom of keeping their best looking member, Raye, behind the sound desk, out of sight of the crowd. Still, someone has to dial the volume up to an improbable 666. 

The sound is huge and dirty from the off, the equivalent of a back alley stabbing, which is appropriate given the dodgy East End locale in which we find ourselves, under a load of pylons and as far removed from polite society as you can get. Assaulted by a tsunami of white noise that does its best to incapacitate, if you actually dig deeper into the likes of Resurrection and Prey then you’ll discover some seriously dirty, and bizarrely funky, beats. 

Whether Nick is conscious of the crowd or not is debatable, as he throws himself fully into the performance which becomes an exorcism of sorts, where demons of chaos and calamity are summoned forth and cast into the ether. As the discordant death rattle of Sleep Of Reason wraps us in cacophony of noise, Rog uses an angle grinder to arc white hot sparks across the stage whilst Nick falls to his knees, physically exhausted from his relentless howls of dissolute despair. 

Unsurprisingly it goes over the heads of most of the crowd gathered here tonight, and approximately 90% of the crowd walk out within the first five minutes. Next time they will aim for 95%, and to Hydra this is considered a victory. 8/10

Giles Moorhouse

[Photo by Jenny-Louise Gallagher]