Henry Rollins - Spoken Word Review

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Henry Rollins - Spoken Word Review

Post by Jamz » Mon Jan 25, 2010 4:40 pm

Wolverhampton Wulfrun Hall, Sat 23rd January 2010.

I'd always been aware of Mr Rollins as the musical icon that he is, despite me never really being a huge fan of The Rollins Band. I was aware he was apparently pretty good at this 'talking' stuff, but hadn't heard any or got into it.

It was around December 2009 when I stumbled onto a few vids of his on YouTube - most memorably his account of trying to out-perform Iggy Popp on stage when they played together (hilarious), and the roller-coater tale of his best friend Joe Cole and how he watched his murder. Take a look yourselves and you'll be hooked too.

So I did a quick check on his website to see if he was touring at all, and to my surprise saw dates in January 2010. Right, thought I, before pressganging an open-minded mate into comittment to a date. Sorted.

I watched and listened to everything of his I could get my hands on, getting more and more excited as the date approached. I even watched a few of his films - including, of course "The Chase". Then the bad reviews saying his more recent stuff sucked.

I tried not to expect too much, but couldn't wait to see the man!

The audience featured a see of black clothing and not as much diversity as I'd expected. Obviously this was all the thinkers and more open-minded part of the metal brigade - but undoubtedly this was the metal brigade. And it has to be noted that it was mostly the younger generations of it, too. I guess this has to be a good thing!

Henry appeared on stage to much applause, giving a warning that he had a lot to tell us, and he'd probably sound like a 33 1/2rpm record playing at 45 for the next few hours.

He wasn't lying, either!

For the next three hours he stood centre stage exactly as you'd expect to see him at a Black Flag gig, mic gripped in his fist and feet set ready to deliver his verbal onslaught to the full capacity room.

The truly amazing thing was that he did that for literally the next three hours - he didn't even pause to drink anything! For the brief moments when he couldn't continue talking because the audience had erupted in laughter or applause, you could see him a bit irritated by the stoppage, like an angry monster desperate to carry on talking.

Intense wasn't a word invented by Rollins - but you'd be hard-pressed to find a better epitomy of the word.

He talked of US politics, freedom of speech, his new role in the series 'Sons of Anarchy' (joking at the fact he's landed a paid job as a Nazi - even better when you know he's probably the most anti-racist man alive!) and his previous roles. The hilarious story of how the students voted for him to give their graduation speech and the reations before, during and after of the university staff. And of course his latest travels to places where nobody else wants to go - including spreading music in the most unlikely and oppressed areas. It's always been refreshing to hear a musician who would rather that people heard all the music they can instead of fighting legal battles against copied music to get their 65 cents royalties.

It all sounded very surreal to me when he was talking about his friends - his tale of judging a transexual beauty contest with Ru Paul surprisingly didn't feel as surreal as his regular monday nights spent at William Shatners house watching football!

As you might expect in three solid hours without a pause, the subjects were many and varied, and often went off at a tangent. I was maybe losing him for as long as ten minutes through that whole time. The rest of his show had my full attention.

An awesome show in the truest sense of the word!

Part of my motivation for seeing him was my belief that it's just a matter of time before his adventures see him killed or kidnapped, but if he makes it back to these shores again - and I hope he does - I think I'll be at every one of his shows from now on.

If you don't, then you're missing out on someone who strives every day to actually LIVE life.

Something we can all benefit and be motivated to do.
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