Nemesis To Go on LiveJournal Nemesis To Go on Twitter Nemesis To Go on Mixcloud Nemesis To Go on Last FM Nemesis To Go on Facebook

Black Sixteen
Circus Diabolica

Boston Music Room, London
Wednesday November 21 2012


Looks like we're in for a selection of heavy metal mayhem merchants of various styles tonight. Heavy metal mayhem merchants...and Psydoll.

Quite what Psydoll are doing on this bill is a bit of a mystery. Their surrealist cyberpunk, straight outta Tokyo, surely hasn't got anything to do with metal as we know it.

Perhaps things are different in Japan. Perhaps Psydoll seamlessly integrate with the metal scene over there. But here in the UK - well, let's put it like this. Psydoll stick out at this gig like a half brick in a bowl of soup.

Still, let's wheel on the heavies and see what happens. On their Facebook page Circus Diabolica tell us that they play 'Music with balls', and as the band is an all-male outfit I suppose we can't argue with that. They kick it fast and hardcore, like a goofball version of Fucked Up.

By contrast, Black Sixteen describe themselves as 'delicately heavy modern rock', which sounds rather ominous. In practice it means they've got keyboards and female backing vocals as part of their NIN-style assault.

Lynchpyn are what you might call traditional heavy metal - vintage Friday Rock Show riffage all the way. I half expect to hear Tommy Vance's voice booming out of the PA between songs. And there we have tonight's support line-up - all decent bands in their own ways, and if you like the stylistic areas I've helpfully sketched out for you there, please check 'em out. But it does still beg the question - what are Psydoll doing in such company?

Well, ready or not, here they come. Uuchi gives it some extravagant guitar strangling by way of an intro. The metalheads won't be able to complain about the guitar side of things tonight, at any rate. Dunno how they'll take to Psydoll's programmed drums and keyboards and electronix and - well, general non-metalness, mind. But for those of us who dig Psydoll's mangled manga, it's a treat. Nekoi bobs and weaves at the mic stand as Psydoll's sonic ferment convulses around her. The programmed beatz fight it out among themselves as the guitar shoulders its way to the front.

'Machinery Lemmings', probably the nearest thing in the Psydoll songbook to cyber metal (is there such a thing as cyber metal?) comes out fighting, its machine-gun riff well to the fore.


'Sleeping Beauty' demonstrates Psydoll's signature trick of hiding a lilting pop melody in a barrage of futurepunk racketeerring. Psydoll sound like the future - a wayward, slightly-gone-wrong version of the future, where technology and organics twine together like DNA and everything tastes slightly, deliciously, weird. Which, with any luck, is just how it'll be.

The set scrambles to a close in a flurry of clattering beats and guitar cacophony. And it's quickly apparent that the metal contingent have dealt with the Psydoll phenomenon by...erm, going home, basically. The venue is virtually empty. My misgivings about the gig, it seems, are borne out. A great show by Psydoll. Pity about the audience.





Black Sixteen:

Circus Diabolica:


For more photos from this gig, find Psydoll by name here.

Search Nemesis To Go
Page credits: Review, photos and construction by Michael Johnson. Nemesis logo by Antony Johnston. Red N version by Mark Rimmell.
Creative Commons LicenseWords and photos in Nemesis To Go by Michael Johnson are licenced under Creative Commons. You may copy and distribute this material, or derivations of it, provided that you give a credit to Michael Johnson and a link to Nemesis To Go. Where material from other sources is used, copyright remains with the original owners. All rights in the name 'Nemesis To Go' and the 'N' logo are retained.