Download were a Skinny Puppy splinter project. I was (and still am) a massive fan of Skinny Puppy so Download was a group already on my radar so when I saw a London gig announced I immediately picked up a ticket.
It was on a Saturday night and I’d been working in the record store all day, England also hosted Scotland during the afternoon in the Euro 96 tournament that was taking place in England that summer (England won 2-0) – so it was a very slow afternoon at the record store…
Whilst Haujobb were advertised as the opening act on the ticket they were replaced by Naked Apes as the first band on, and Naked Apes were really good. They were a French-British industrial band that formed in the early 90’s and released a couple of albums (1993’s ‘Back To Civilization” and 1995’s “Naked Apes”) before vanishing from the scene. They weren’t a band I’d heard of before this gig, but they really impressed live. The name ‘Naked Apes’ has since been used by other bands – atleast one rock band in the States and an electronic one in Sweden.
Twilight Circus In Dub (better known as Twilight Circus Dub Sound System) were a dub and reggae project from ex-Legendary Pink Dots bassist and drummer Ryan Moore. This was apparently their first tour (having formed sometime in 1995) and they accompanied Download on their world tour. I wasn’t so keen on them though.
Download were a lot more experimental than Skinny Puppy, and I’ll admit that I have probably not listened to any of their albums in a couple of decades – as opposed to Skinny Puppy whom I still listen to, I’d not seen Skinny Puppy live at this point, but pretty enjoyed Download. They didn’t blow me away like some of the bands I’ve seen, but they were solid and put on a good performance. I’d be hard pressed to say if I preferred them or Naked Apes on the night though.
After the gig (being Saturday and all) we headed over to Slimelight for the rest of the night for more industrial noise.