Synthetic at InsanitoriuM

plus Living With Eating Disorders

Southbound through the gathering gloom, night falling fast across the Essex countryside as we swept an ill-signed and twisting path to Colchester. I don't know who is responsible for road signs between Cambridge and England's oldest recorded town, but I really would like to have them taken out and shot. Twice.

We finaly made the venue for half past ten, with the last rays of the setting sun gleaming above, to find Living With Eating Disorders already well into their set. I must confess they weren't really my chalice of blood, but as I didn't see their whole set I'll say no more for now.

The Soundhouse itself was smaller than I was expecting, from looking at the venue's own website off and on I'd expected something on the same scale as the Josephs Well in Leeds of the Underworld in Camden, instead the actual building appears to have started life as one of those little old-fashioned working-men's pubs you used to see all over the place, though now the interior has been turned into one large room with a bar down the right, and the fairly large stage at the back. It even has a column, just like the Phono, although this one is round and black, and stands right in the middle at the front of the stage, so you can only dance half way round it. The usual summertime goth-shortage was in evidence, with perhaps 50 people there when we arrived, though the crowd swelled before the headliners came on. The atmosphere was good though, felt friendly, and the bar seemed well stocked, including the mandatory (for Inkubus Sukkubus fans at least) Jaegermeister at two quid a shot.

Synthetic came on at midnight, and absolutely stormed through their very energetic and perky set. I first saw them play Whitby in 2002, and saw them again supporting Inkubus Sukkubus at the Rochester Vampire Convention in 2003, and so far each gig has been better than the one before. All their expected material was there, including the brilliant "Trinity" played near the end of the main set, when they finished they were duly called back for an encore by the enthusiastic crowd. They also hung about at the end to sign things and chat to fans, which resulted in some very strange pictures involving a pink-haired troll at one point!

As the evening drew to a close, the music took a decidedly strange turn, even weirder than the post-2am selections from Bradford's Carpe Noctum, somewhere in the small hours we said out goodnights and headed off southwards once more to collect friends and kittens and head for the Rollrights. But of that journey more will be said elsewhere.

All in all Insanitorium is a thoroughly good night, most enjoyable and highly reccomended. Many thanks to Martin Oldgoth (front row centre of the last picture above) for inviting us, we will most definetly be back...

Merry Midsummer!

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