REVIEW: Punk Pocket Rocket Lydia Lunch Casts Goth Rock Spell Over Voodoo Belfast

Easily one of the most eclectic and mind-blowing shows to grace the stage at Voodoo, Lydia Lunch live at Voodoo, Belfast was a triumph of both transatlantic and local talent alike.

Photo: Darren McVeigh, MetalPlanet Belfast

Photo: Darren McVeigh, MetalPlanet Belfast

From heavy metal, rap and finally classic 80’s punk/goth rock, Lydia and her supporting artists catered for all creative tastes.

The intimate setting that is Voodoo, with its rocky dark Gothic decor, was a perfect platform to showcase the raw, unpolished talent of the acts.

The Under Cards

Local heavy metal group THVS were first to take to the stage and what an opener it was. Front man Michael Smyth took no prisoners – he screamed and slammed on this electric guitar (breaking a string from playing so hard) and head banged his way through their entire set.

His fellow band mates provided a masterclass in bass guitar and drumming. It was mind numbing to think that these guys have only been together for two years. Definite notes of Metallica and Michael gave a air of passive aggressive coolness that was engrossing to watch.

Photo: Darren McVeigh, MetalPlanet Belfast

Photo: Darren McVeigh, MetalPlanet Belfast

Drrty Pharmer was up next, and boy did he capture the attention of the crowd. Everyone in attendance swarmed to the stage including headlining act Lydia Lunch, who kindly added this young act to her support list.

At a glance Drrty Pharmer is a long haired, slim, youthful-looking coffee-shop-type American. But when he opens his mouth, poetic yet graphic rhymes fall from his lips with ease.

He has the genius and vulgarity of Eminem, the swagger and laid back performing style of Drake, but his lyrics are nothing if not original – laced with hurt, apathy and sexual references. His lyrical content was both tragic and engaging.

This young artist is definitely one to watch and I for one would like to see his headline show and will be buying his EP.

The Lady Herself

Lydia Lunch may be small in stature but she makes up for it in sass and grit. Her gravely voice is simply haunting; despite her punk-Gothic persona, she is clever, witty and has a mouth that would put many a sailor to shame.

Photo: Darren McVeigh, MetalPlanet Belfast

Photo: Darren McVeigh, MetalPlanet Belfast

The interaction she had with her fans, including actually stopping mid set to joke with them and answer questions, shows exactly why she has such a loyal fan base, with some fans on the night travelling from Cork just to see their punk idol.

A clearly unwell Lydia Lunch did not allow her ailments to affect her vocal or over all performance. She head banged and gyrated around the stage with the same energy of her bass player, who was easily half her age.

Lydia’s star quality, stage presence and vocal ability have aged like a fine wine.

Hits such as “Some boys like to kill”, “Salation”, “Afraid of the enemy” and a tribute to Ronald S Howard ensured that the fans were more than entertained the entire night. With promises of a return to Belfast later this year, I have no doubt that Voodoo will be inundated with requests for tickets.