I almost expected old Frank's APA pal Nick Drage to show up at this, as it was the kind of event that featured a lot of people in shaved heads and black combat gear. Other members of the audience seemed a bit metally. I was there despite little or no familiarity with the music of Front 242, but I recognised them as a legendary name and hoped they would prove something like as interesting as the Slovenian industrial sensations Laibach.
It is interesting, I suppose to play compare and contrast with Laibach and Front 242. They are both from the continent*, both play industrial music, and both go for it with extreme visual appearances. Front 242 do rather look like the paramilitary wing of some dodgo movement, with their shaven hair, black garb, and dark sunglasses, the similarity of their appearances making them look like they are wearing uniforms. Musically, though, Front 242 are much more dance-oriented than Laibach. For all the supposedly scary industrialism of the Front, I reckon their music would go down great if played to people who were off their nuts on disco biscuits, something you would not really get with Laibach in toto. Visually, Front 242 seem a bit more camp than Laibach, though I am maybe just saying this because none of them are as scary as the Laibach guy who wears the tea-towel on his head.
So yes, this was a great gig for bopping around to, with the two Front 242 front guys doing their own amusing dances on stage to keep us all going. Some people, it is true, are not wholly down with the dance aspect of the band, with some punters going in for a bit of auto-pilot moshing. Trust me, though, this is dance music, even if it is a somewhat aggressive variant thereof. And dance we did. Fun was had, with the visuals, music, and onstage look coming very well together.
I bought a CD after the show, but have not had a chance to play it yet. Oh dear, I have just registered that it is not a compilation but a live album. I hope this does not mean that all the tracks will sound like shite and be drowned by crowd noise. Wor bird also got me a Front 242 t-shirt. It is in black, natch, and features an attractive picture of a scary Hind helicopter gunship coming towards the viewer.
*In that Little Englander way, I am implying that Slovenia and Belgium are essentially the same place.