As a keen amateur anthropologist, I always get very excited when the opportunity to learn about a sub-culture in intimate detail arises. Last night my mission was to get some idea about what makes thrash metal enthusiasts tick. To do this I attended my first ever Napalm Death gig, accompanied by fellow Zezaurian, Professor Peelhead. I still can't feel my face.
Straight away I knew things were going to be a struggle, as Peelhead looked rather worse for wear. His glasses were hanging from his face in a curiously lop-sided fashion, and it definitely looked like he had slept in his clothes for at least the two previous nights. In addition to his shabby outward appearance, it was quite clear from his glazed eyes and shit-eating grin that he was on something. He reliably informed me of his prior consumption of at least 47 pints of cider and black, and three bowls of cream of magic mushroom soup.
By the time the support band were halfway through their set, he was trying to climb the walls using only his nipples and going on about 'amalgamating with the ether'. It was at this point that I pretended I didn't know him and got on with my study.
To grasp some idea of the message the band was trying to deliver to the world, I took out my notebook and tried to jot down some of the lyrics that inspire their fans. What words evoke such a die-hard following? What wisdom was I about to be let into? Well, as far as I am aware 'AAAAAAAAAAARRRRRRRGGGGGHHHHHH' isn't actually a word, but that seemed to be the gist of things. That, and 'GGGGGRRRRRRRRRAAAAAAAAHHHHH'. Phew.
I then turned my attention to the fans. They come in all shapes and sizes, and the uniform of choice seems to be baggy t-shirts (any colour as long as it's black), jeans, leather jackets, greasy long hair and dubious personal hygiene. Sexy. Every last one of them was gesticulating wildly to each growl that emanated from the stage, moshing as though their life depended on it and grinning like a village idiot.
Initially I was quite cynical and apprehensive to what I was witnessing, but after a while the raw, guttural sounds and honest passion of the music began to get under my skin, and the heartfelt camaraderie of the audience became infectious. Before I knew it I had my arm around Peelhead's shoulder and was screaming and head-banging like it was going out of style.
So, in conclusion, my analysis of thrash metal enthusiasts is that they are salt of the earth folks, generally devoid of pretence and affectation (for the most part), and engendered with a genuine passion for their thing, and for this I can only commend them.
Update: This morning I learned Professor Peelhead somehow missed his last train home and ended up sleeping rough down an alcove somewhere in the vicinity of Goodge Street station. What a doink.