As a powerful wizard preparing for a true Mayhem gig, I felt it was only right and proper to conduct a transubstantiation of my pre-gig dinner into a black mass. Thus my noodles became the Entrails of Christ and my rather cheeky Riesling became the Piss of Satan. It was both delicious and fortifying, and as I walked out into the balmy night I strolled right into a cobweb, and my so attire was complete.

The crowd was an interesting mix of old and young at The Triffid, and Departe, the first of three support bands, was just about to hit the stage as I arrived. They appeared to have no drummer and their sound was quite muddy (such is the bane of the support act), however they showed great potential with their intriguing blend of doom and black metal – and the floor was reasonably full. Surely an encouraging sign for the first act of the night?

I slipped off to have a quick chat with Claim the Throne‘s Dysie and King Parrot’s Toddy – both charming fellows – before heading back in for Ruins. Again, the sound was rather muted but musically it was a solid beast. Sadly it was only during the last song that the knobs on the mixer seemed to be raised up enough to give the audience a punch in the face – but what a way to finish a set. The crowd were definitely getting a bit more lively and when Bolzer hit the stage things got quite mental. The sound being pumped out by this Swiss duo was outrageously fat, and their set produced an almost subdued awe in the crowd. Suddenly they were done and the mob mingled about in anticipation of the headliners.

I was lurking at the back, intellectualising the gig, the crowd, and myself but I got bored of this so I weaved my way up to the front and got in the pit.

Some people really dig De Mysteriis Dom Sathanas while others? Well, not so much. Personally, I was getting thrown about in a hot, stinky mosh-pit, enjoying every fucking note. I couldn’t exactly commit to the spookiness that the band was putting out but I can’t deny I had a great time – sure there were some nob-heads, being rather juvenile and overly-aggressive – but overall, people were just having a good old time, thrashing the shit out of themselves. Attila was waving a skull about, and everyone was decked in cloaks and played an incredibly tight set, although there was so much dry ice floating about, it was nigh impossible to catch a glimpse of Hellhammer doing his business on the drums (not literally, obviously). He might not have even been there, for all I could tell. Anyway, it was a sweet but short gig, which is no surprise when you consider that the album is only about forty five minutes long.

No encore. Nothing. But surely I should get an award for being the oldest crowd-surfer? Didn’t even break my hip… which was nice.