I was hoping to catch Rezet or at least the tail end of their set, but they were done by ten to eight with Comaniac already setting up and ready to go by five past, which they didn’t do, rather opting to wait until their dedicated time slot at twenty past.

Having never seen or heard them before, the first thing that struck me as Comaniac took to the stage were the T-shirts they were wearing: Metallica, Evile and Coroner – with the last being a severely underrated Swiss band I thought few would remember. Later revealing that this was their second visit to the UK from Switzerland explained, to me at least, their knowing who Coroner are. Once they started playing, their choppy thrash rhythms were belted out enthusiastically and slightly raspy shouted vocals quickly let us know what we’d be in for. They put on a good show and were quite chatty between songs but what was clearly noticeable were the easy smiles or should that be grins they wore. A couple song names that I recall being mentioned were “Secret Seed”, “Coal” and the title track from their latest album “Instruction For Destruction” where the lead was well played and clearly audible in the sparsely filled venue. What the crowd lacked in numbers they certainly made up for with knowledge of the band’s material singing along at every opportunity.

As the lights went out and the venue grew silent, the empty floor quickly filled with punters crawling out of the woodwork as they had been all but invisible when the lights were on. Immediately apparent was how much energy the dead Doctors were going to be putting into their show as they bounced around like coiled springs. Playing a selection of songs from all 4 of their albums with songs like “Wake Up… Join the Dead!” and “Can’t Kill the Dead” exemplifying their modelling themselves on some Cycos from Venice Beach. The bandanna wearing skull bemasked Doctors fed off each other’s energy as well as the crowds, quickly putting all of it straight back into the show to rile up the audience bouncing around the column in the centre of the moshpit. With a couple more tracks to promote their newest release ‘Cosmic Conqueror’ under their belts, they wrapped up their show with a flurry of stage divers hurling themselves at the rafters. The Swedish quartet took their first visit to the UK in their stride and were completely at home on the stage they commanded with plenty of confidence and funny banter. Very much a live band, for a bunch of dead doctors.

(Marco Gaminara)