Tankard - LIVE: The Underworld, London 2009

Thirst Tour
September 6
Capacity 500

For veterans of the genre, touring opportunities for German thashers Tankard have been limited in recent years, particularly for any kind of full headlining tour, making a show in London a rarity.

Although not sold out Camden's Underworld was still fairly full by the time Tankard came on, but only the really keen came in early enough for average support bands Doctor Death and Damnas who, against the backdrop of a re-emerging UK thrash scene that includes the likes of Evile, Savage Messiah, Sacred Mother Tongue, The More I See and Sinocence, both look out of their depth with no original ideas.

Tankard have made a name for themselves in thrash history as the lighter-mood alternative to Sodom, Kreator and Destruction, and what sets them apart from other thrash bands whose songs are more tongue-in-cheek than others produce, is that they take their music seriously, even if they don't necessarily write serious songs.

For a full set their two jokes (Andreas Geremia's gut and songs about beer) wear thin pretty quickly, but for all their light-hearted lyrics, their songs consistently stand up as genuine thrash metal. And they aren't repetitive. A lot of bands (most recently Mutant, Gama Bomb and Municipal Waste) who aim to make comedy songs (zombies and science fiction seem to be popular topics) end up sounding very similar on all of their tracks, but Tankard have a better grasp of thrash and can write riffs with the best of them.

Nation Over Nation stood out in a set containing surprisingly few tracks from newest album Thirst (just two), but with an early curfew looming they kept the energy high for a full 90 minutes and rolled out most of their classics for a crowd with too few previous opportunities to see them.

Hopefully the success (a near sell-out) of this show will prompt a return sooner rather than later, and with it, a set less reliant on the tracklist of Best Case Scenario, their greatest hits CD.

“ consistently stand up as genuine thrash metal ”

Setlist: The Morning After / Zombie Attack / Slipping From Reality / Stay Thirsty! / The Beauty And The Beer / Beermuda > Need Money For Beer / Alcohol / Maniac Forces / Octane Warriors / England / Die With A Beer In Your Hand / Nation Over Nation > 666 Packs / Rectifier / Chemical Invasion // ?? / (Empty) Tankard

Written by Andy Lye
More: 2009, Gigs, Thrash Metal,

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