THE ANNIHILATED ALBUM LAUNCH
THE ENGINE ROOM, LONDON 4th Feb 2023
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You really must take the scenic walk to The Engine Room, past groups of men outside garages and Deliveroo takeaways, down unlit sections of a desolate industrial area. You really must, because it’s the only way to get there. The gig had started an hour ago, so it was a pity but not such a surprise that The Annihilated’s album launch was sold out when I arrived. I vaped alongside the fellow rejects. The blue-haired owner crowd controlled the door, maintaining a one-out-one-in policy and saying he had “[in 8 years] never had to do this.” What a joy then, that the success of this show had brought more people to The Engine Room than the highlighted IDLES gig they lay claim to on their website. I waited in line to pass through the threshold of this “warm and welcoming environment for performers and punters,” which would lead to the chance of watching frustrated vocalists screaming into failing microphones and full access to the stout, ice and, eventually, cup-free bar. Finally, I was called upon by the cerulean follicled gatekeeper. Access granted.
A freight train passed above the railway arch that houses The Engine Room. The weight of the cargo on uneven tracks sounding like gunshots to the unsettled empaths in the smoking area, but just sounding like a freight train to the comfortably traumatised. We scurried inside. The Annihilated kicked off their set, inspiring the cobalt maned owner to kick off in turn. Let those who don’t love DIY cast the first stone, cos that berry boy had the manual of his own fuse box up on his android. Inside, the room went dark. Knowing what the fuck was going on was a pipe dream. We were granted lighting privileges seconds later only to have them revoked again. Finally, the house lights invited us to go to our own homes. The other day I bought scissors for work from a homeware shop. After I’d paid I asked the man at the counter if it was too late to get a receipt. He said, “It’s never too late” and I’ve really taken that to heart. I should give the azure furred owner directions to the homeware shop because he’ll need his own pair of scissors to cut his losses on never hosting a punk gig again.