Greg Puciato (of Dillinger Escape Plan) with his new band The Black Queen released their debut album Fever Daydream in January 2016.
They played a couple of sold-out shows (one of which was Hackney, UK) and came back in winter for several more shows around Europe.
I managed to get to all three UK shows; Camden, Bristol and Manchester.
Each one had a different vibe as The Black Queen’s atmosphere absorbed the venue.
- September 26: Camden Jazz Cafe
I can’t say I’ve ever been to nor had any desire to attend a Jazz Cafe since I’m not a coffee drinker or fan of jazz.
A tiny venue, always the best. Everything was in one room. It wasn’t quite Old Blue Last but it was very civilised and clean.
The first act was Collapsing Scenery.
Very strange electronic band featuring Mickey Madden (of Maroon 5).
This is the sound I’d imagine a lifelong acid trip would create.
The room filled with smoke and blue lights as the weird jazz music played in between acts went down.
Strobe lighting pierced the mist and heavy bass shook the ground. A great return performance to London.
- September 27: Bristol Thekla
The last time I went to Bristol Thekla was in 2013 for Bring Me The Horizon. It was packed and the crowd were so lively you could feel the ship shake.
The interior of the venue reminded me of the Tanker chapter in Metal Gear Solid 2.
Stage times alternated for each night so unfortunately I didn’t get to see Mickey smack himself in the head with his palm like he did in Camden but I was perfectly in time for The Black Queen.
I had a better standing view this time and the acoustics were better. This was my favourite night of tour.
- September 28: The Deaf Institute
A weird and pretty disrespectful name for a music venue in Manchester.
I booked a Mercure (since it was closer to my coach station) but I didn’t expect it to be so classy indoors.
It made me feel a little underdressed in my typical black denim, but it was convenient so whatever.
Deaf Institute is a strange looking hall above a bar and grill, with a disco ball in the centre of the room and an unreserved block of seats at the back.
The floor is slightly slanted in this hall, so if it wasn’t for the crowd of six foot men who always stand at the front it would have been an alright view.
I was kinda disappointed Mickey didn’t smack himself in the face with his palm like he did in Camden (cause I wanted to film it) but Collapsing Scenery were still good. They came back more humble.
Lights out, purple glow, Fever Daydream, time to go. Mid set, Greg asked for a beer to be crowdsurfed up to him. He took a sip (nearly missed his cue) and nailed it.
I could hear the guitar much clearer in Manchester than the other two venues.
This crowd seemed more in awe or stupor of The Black Queen, which was good.
One of the taxi drivers made a comment about Manchester being ‘calmer’ than London, which I doubted.
Until I got back in Victoria to witness a fist fight between an aggressive customer and the manager of KFC.