Combichrist/William Control/Naked Lunch

Preston, Newcastle, Glasgow, Bristol, London - 10-14 December 2014

"Combichrist gave one hell of a performance each night"

The following is a review of the above tour between the 10th and 14th December 2014 at Preston, Newcastle, Glasgow, Bristol and London. I have to declare an interest as I was invited by Naked Lunch to help out and ended up being their roadie, merchandise seller, photographer and helping them out with the sound tech, but also the main reason for going to these events was as a long term fan of Naked Lunch.

The three bands were very different, but all shared a degree of commonality having a lot of synths in the backline, although Naked Lunch were more obviously a synth band, William Control more conventional and Combichrist on the darker more industrial/death metal end of the spectrum.

Naked Lunch

The band has further evolved since their previous round of performances with the addition of live bass (Sam Morrison) and a new drummer (Clint Henderson). At first I was not sure about these developments, but I was very impressed with the additional dynamics that these changes to the line up made.

The original core of the band from the 1980s Tony Mayo (Vocals), Cliff Chapman (Synth) and Paul Nicholas Davis (Guitar) were also supplemented by Jet Noir (Synth and Backing vocals). Given the audience on this tour were expected to largely be new to Naked Lunch, the set list consisted predominantly newer tracks Glow, Alone and We Are, as well as re-workings of older tracks Fade Away, Weekend Behaviour and Slipping Again (Again).

The band suffered some technical issues with the backing tracks at the Newcastle show, but despite that managed to get a great response from the audience. The Glasgow show was very strange, as due to a licencing issue the venue was not able to sell alcohol, but the in-house sound engineer was fantastic and the band's music really came to life and, despite the lack of alcohol, the crowd really got into the music.

The show at the Fleece in Bristol was again very good, the in-house sound engineer having owned a copy of the famous Some Bizzare album  - being stunned that it was the same band who contributed the seminal Le Femme track to it. At KOKO in London the band employed a VJ to do back projections. Again the sound quality was amazing, and by the end of the tour I had really got to understand the new material. Rating wise, 7/10 for Newcastle (due to technical issues) 8/10 for Preston, Bristol, London and an uncommon 9/10 for Glasgow as the sound was so awesome and the band really gelled together.

[Naked Lunch photo]
[William Control photo] [Combichrist photo]

Photos [L-R]: Naked Lunch, William Control, Combichrist

William Control

William Control is somewhat of an anomaly, the music is very catchy and he gave a very impressive (if somewhat arrogant) performance. Whilst the music was very much to my taste, some of the lyrics seemed to be misogynistic and sometimes distasteful, (maybe I am getting old) but for me it did detract from the overall experience. The sound at all the shows was very good and I did find myself singing along to a few tracks. 7/10


A very different band for me, and not my usual musical taste, but I have to say the band gave one hell of a performance each night, and the sound and musicianship were excellent. The band was certainly a big hit with the audiences and I would definitely see them again if I got the opportunity. It is hard for me to rate the band, but from the reaction of the audience they were probably 8/10 as they definitely had more impact than William Control.

The Tour

This was the first time I have ever been part of a tour, and it made me recognise just how much effort goes into these things. I was massively impressed with how everyone helped each other and worked together to make sure the performances went well, and also how supportive the members of Naked Lunch are to each other.

Review + Photos: Mark Smith