Godflesh Live Reviews
1999-- 1997-- 1996-- Live History Notes

1999 Reviews .

Date: 12th November
Location: Calais, France
Review By: none other than... Andreas Vondran

I just came back from France. I did a four hours drive (through Netherlands and Belgium) to see Godflesh with a live drummer for the first time in Europe. The show was not in Dunkerque as indicated in the web, but in Calais. The venue was called "Maison pour tous". There were two French bands supporting named Jailbird and Dee'n'Dee. The line up was Justin, Ben , Dermot Dalton (Synth) and Ted Parsons.

The set list was amazing:

  1. Love is a Dog from Hell
  2. I, Me, Mine
  3. Us and Them
  4. Circle of Shit
  5. Witchhunt
  6. Sterile Prophet
  7. Spite
  8. Crush my Soul
  9. Christbait Rising

More info on the show soon.


Date: 9th July
Location: Eindhoven
Review By: Andreas Vondran

Kevin Martin was with them. He was the DJ before Godflesh started (nice to hear Techno Animal and other related stuff). Moreover he was the soundmixer of Godflesh.

Although Ted Parson was not with them (he is moving to Norway, by the way), Godflesh played with four people on stage:

Alongside Justin and Benny the played with Steve Hough and Dermot Dalton. (both from Cable Regime) Steve played second guitar, Dermot controlled the samples, tapes and made additional noise through a Moog synthesizer. That means no live drummer and Dermot does not play second guitar (as indicated in some interviews) but Steve Hough does.

They played for about an hour.

The set list:

  1. I, Me, Mine
  2. Us and Them
  3. Endgames
  4. Circle of Shit (Version)
  5. Witchhunt
  6. Bittersweet
  7. Whose truth is your truth
  8. Gift of Heaven (Version)
  9. Spite (Version)
  10. Headdirt (Version)

Execept of Nail (due to technical problems) they played all my favourites from Us and Them. I love the songs live as well. Especially Whose Truth is Your Truth was great in comparison with the cd-version, where I did not like it that much.

They started with the frist three songs from it in the same order. Then a version of Circle Of Shit, it was close to the Point of Dub-remix from LaHiD, but with the complete lyrics from the orginal version.

Then another three songs from the new CD, before they closed the evening with old songs in new mixes. Gift from Heaven (seems to be identical with the Breakbeat-version of LaHiD, Spite (also with some additional beats and noises). The final song was Headdirt. It is always great to hear songs from my favourite Streetcleaner-album. Of course this one was also a strange version with a lot of beats and additonal drums.

How to assess the show? I would not say it was the best show I have ever seen, but it was great anyway. The development is obviously. The guitars and the bass are more and more in the background, but the beats and drums are heavier than ever. The role is definied as well when you look at Kevin Martin. He played within the show, he always push and moved the pitches and knobs, added hundreds of effects in the sound (especially on Justin's voice). Hell, it was LOUD! The mxing desk shows that they played up to 110 decibel. Kevin loves to bring the equipment and the sound to its maximum. It is definitely not the old Godflesh style, but if you like a loud, powerful and violent noise show, Godflesh is the still best I can imagine.

Date: July 2nd, 1999
Location: The Garage, Highbury, London
Reviewed by: Billy Chainsaw, Kerrang Magazine (24th July, 1999)

It's the kind of night that should have had a warning posted at the door: 'Surrender all hope, all ye that enter'

Sonic upstarts Leechwoman open with a set of what they do best: primal,sense scorching,beatific songs accompanied by retina-wrenching visuals. They're the perfect mood stimulator for what follows. As the room is filled with smoke, the crowd stands eyes fixed on the stage. A buzz envelops the gloom, indicating that some of Satan's finest are indeed in the house - Justin Broadrick and Benny Green, and the hellacious-noise-beast Godflesh (tonight augmented by Dermot Dalton on synth and four track, and Steve Hough on guitar). The intor pulse of I,Me,Mine sounds like Hell bubbling over, and even before Broadrick has primal screamed the chorus, the crowd become an uncontrollable mass of slamming bodies. Godflesh create an ugly ,yet beautiful sound that remains constant and unrelenting throughout the likes of Mogadon moodswinger Us and Them ,the big beat ferocity of Endgames, and starkly named gargantuan groover 'Circle of Shit.

It's an overwhelming, empowering performance, and one that wouldv'e entered the hallowed annals of classicdom were the sound not so hit-and-miss. However , the crowd show no signs of either noticing or caring, because every time that sound does fuck up, it still somehow manages to metamorphisise into something of sonic magnificance. By the time Godflesh exit stage-left in a tidal wave of feedback, the congregation are truly mentally and physically drained, and all wearing shit-eating grins. As well they should, having just experienced an ultra-rare set by England's finest noise makers.

Date: July 2nd, 1999
Location: The Garage, Highbury, London
Reviewed by: Andy Capper, NME.com

Tonight is a rare outing for industrial rock hermits Godflesh. Their first gig in four years [slateman's note: hardly more than a year and a half] has brought all the old-school noise-freaks out of the woodwork for a nostalgic evening of sonic brutality. And it's good to see that the 'Flesh are still as uncompromising - and unlistenable - as ever.

Set opener I, Me, Mine sounds like the Prodigy drowning in acid, but its relentless drum'n'bass rhythms coupled with frontman Justin Broadrick's tortured screams make Liam Howlett's crew sound more like Steps.

And have we mentioned the guitars yet? Because this is where Godflesh prove they're head and shoulders above the rest of their dance/noise contemporaries. They're played like instruments of torture by the master of the dungeon, rather than a traditional heavy metal band. It's the sound of rusty nails and bleeding wrists.

Obviously, for casual fans of the noise-rock genre, this full-on live experience is a somewhat torturous one, especially as the sound desk doesn't seem quite sure how to best represent their nightmarish visions of eternal suffering.

You could say they remain an acquired taste.

[slateman's note #2:...what a useless review]

1997 Reviews

Date: 4th October, 1997
Location: The Garage, Highbury, London
Review By: Lee Codrington, Terrorizor Magazine (Issue #48-November 1997)

When an opportunity to deviate from one's usual path of HipHop reviews comes by, it's like a welcome breath of fresh air. Tonight saw the birth of a new era in the ongoing chronicles of Godflesh, whose musical journeys are reeking ever more of dope Hip Hop cutz and beatz; a feeling, definitely compounded after the evening's events. In what is to be the sole live performance of remix album Love and Hate in Dub, headz were provided with an insight into what real, rough, rugged and raw cutting-edge extreme music is. These are fucked up sounds and ridiculous samples mechanically abrasive to the very core, so manipulatively dark and so industriously hard that they slice through you like gladd shards. Pungent ear-splitting acidity soared from the spitting moog as the guitarist strangled a thousand contorted frequencies from his tool while the thunderous boom of heavy-weight blackheart HipHop doombeats made teeth clatter and bowels spasm and splatter. If this was a HipHop or Phat Beat session then the Godflesh artillery would have blown all competition out of the water.

The live rendering of Love and Hate in Dub represented the remix project while also exploding on to virginal planes of arritional brutality. If this was deemed to be a one-off novel approach to live performance that's too bad, because the shit was down. It was a monumental representation of some of the illest, unadulterated barbaric sound art witnessed yet and all the more impressive for the fact that Godflesh Sound System kicked in the face of adversity by overcoming the mammoth technical problems earlier in the evening.

Date: 4th October, 1997
Location: The Garage, Highbury, London
Review By: Gavin Toomey

Godflesh tonight featured a hooded Justin operating a portable mixing desk and Ben on bass. A lead guitarist to cover for Justin and an elusive guy at the back with a moog synth were guests. [note: these 2 people are likely to be Dermot Dalton (moog) and Steve Hough (guitar). Both helped out during the 1999 tour as well] Tracks from Love and Hate In Dub were cut up, distorted, and mutated live by Justin. Drum and bass cuts to silence and offset samples are thrown in the mix. By the end of the gig, the true "experimental" side of Godflesh had taken over. Beats were overloaded with moog white noise and feedback. Justin's knob twiddling threw the most intense, scraping noisescapes around the venue. By this point Ben had dropped the bass and was at the mixing desk with Justin. Both were playing with samples and fx while the two guest musicians improvised. The best Godflesh gig I've seen since '92. Their sound continues to evolve...

1996 Reviews

Date: 3rd December, 1996
Location: The Milk Bar, Jacksonville, FL
Review By: Convulse

This night's show was cancelled. The following is the information sent to me as to why.

"CWA, which in actuality stands for Crackers With Attitudes, a play on the old school rap group NWA , but introduced themselves as Citizens With Arguments, played a short and very forgettable set. Towards the end, the very obnoxious singer begain making cracks that Godflesh was satanic and that they were out back sacrificing goats. The PA was very poorly mixed, though, and half of what he said wasn't audible, when the rest of the group was playing. The small crowd, playing off of his obnoxiousness, begain making the sign of the devil and chanting "Hail Satan", to try and get him to shut up or act stupid. It was relatively minor. "

"Then, they left, but not before the guitarist screeched "SATAN" into the microphone. Right when he stepped offstage, something happened, and a crowd gathered, evidently a fight. It broke up, eventually, and everyone resumed waiting for Godflesh.

Eventually, an English man came onstage, dressed in black, took a microphone and announced that Godflesh would not be playing, that the drummer had been "beaten" and no one was in any condition to play."

"There was only one fight, which consisted of a shove to the CWA singer administered by Mr Parsons, but not before calling him a "fucking punk" (which is disputable...someone said to me that there was no shove, and Ted himself said that he just asked the guy what his problem was...) then the singer punched our erstwhile drummer in the face and ran back on stage to brag about it. Justin just stood in the corner watching what was going on, and no one knew what Ben was doing."

[Note:] Unfortunately, that show was cancelled, as was the following night's show in Winter Park Fl. Fortunately, the next night's in Tampa, went on, but the setlist seemed a little (lot?) shorter than the earlier ones. For the few days following this event, many of us feared the remainder of the tour was to be cancelled, but fortunately, it wasn't the case.

Date: 26th November, 1996
Location: The Fenix, Seattle, WA
Review By: Dora Mitchell


When Justin, Ben, and Ted Parsons swung into Wake the audience moved in a way I've rarely seen at concerts--they swelled and broke like waves against the front of the stage. Equally intriguing was the variety of styles of the audience's dancing; while some moshed and thrashed and bounced up and down frenetically, others swam and reached and slithered in rapture. The impact of the music was purely personal, bordering on the sacred, but with such energy that one's body tried to radiate it all back however it could.

Godflesh played a fair sampling of material from all their LPs, sticking mainly with the more crushing songs and avoiding the ambient. I was barely disappointed. With Parsons on drums Mothra gained new life, and it showed on Justin's ecstatic face. Ben remained fairly sedate on his corner of the stage, leaning back and tapping his foot to his solid buzzing rhythms. Meanwhile Justin shrank down, bounced up on the balls of his feet, whipped his head around, bellowed into the microphone, and otherwise dumped all the power coiled up in his wiry frame right onto the stage. The band wrapped up their set with Christbait Rising. Justin hardly needed to sing, because the words were screamed back at him just shy of the volume all the venue's amps provided Justin. Then Ben and Ted left the stage while Justin played variations on the final riff, ending by feeding harmonics into his effects and amp to create dense feedback patterns. He set down his guitar, left the stage, and let the guitar squeal. I have no idea what was going through the minds of the rest of the audience, although their wondrous stares gave me ideas. As for myself, I realized Justin had discovered the musical equivalent of fractals, and was showing us an aural Julia set--each tone revealed a deeper layer of subtones, feeding one another, dying off, and giving birth to new sounds.

The audience wouldn't leave until Godflesh came back out--which they did. For their encore they launched into Like Rats, and made it sound heavier than I had ever heard it before. Again the audience rivaled Justin's voice. Again we were crushed. And again the guitar sang at the end, alone yet full of awe, as Justin wished us peace and made his exit.

Date: 14th November, 1996
Location: Bogarts, Cincinatti, OH
Review By: Neil Gogate

Godflesh hasn't been to cincinnati in a long time... and i hope they never show up at the club they did again. They played a great show, but the security staff at bogart's in cincinnati, i could have done without... Vision of Disorder was again, nowhere to be found, but the Electric Hellfire Club opened for them. Interesting satanic dance music, but i wasn't there for them... I was there for Godflesh. i have missed them at least 5 times, so far, so there was no way that i was going to miss this show. Justin, Benny and Ted entered the stage and i have to say...I had no idea Justin was that tall...he is huge as fuck! They opened with Wake, Sterile Prophet and Circle of Shit from the new album. They went back in time and played Spite and Mothra from Pure, before coming back to Crush My Soul from Selfless. They proceeded on, thrashingly and enticing the crowd withTime, Death, and Wastefulness, Amoral from the new album, and Anything is Mine, again from Selfless. The band came back with Hunter and a rousing Christbait Rising from Streetcleaner. As the band left the stage, deafening shouts of "Godflesh, Godflesh" poured out and the band re-entered to play out, what many had asked for in the first place...the song Like Rats. A great fuckin' show, but the staff at this club sucked-ass...even the bands seemed to be having problems with the way the club was handling things. In talking with justin after the show, he said that the band is really pleased with the way the album has turned out...and so far, it is receiving a great response from people.

Date: 13th November, 1996
Location: Peabody's Down Under, Cleveland, OH
Review By: Damon Gregg

With news of an ominous snowstorm headed towards Cleveland that night, my friend and I braved the hour and fifteen minute drive from Akron to Cleveland. Supposedly going to get 8 to 16 inches of snow in four hours we hoped that the show wouldn't get cancelled. The drive wasn't bad at all, but we left extremely early. We got there at 7:15 p.m. and just walked right in without tickets. Looking around we saw Justin on the drums setting up the soundcheck and Benny Green sitting on a bar stool watching the soundcheck. We went over and talked with Mr. Green for about ten minutes asking questions about the band and just giving him general teen idoltry. He went up and set up his bass system, running his Fender bass through a Boss Heavy Metal pedal? and into his Ampeg bass stack.

Justin then set up his Marshall stack and ran his line through a Boss Digital Sampler/Delay, a Boss Pitch Shifter/Delay, a Boss Heavy Metal pedal, and a Crybaby Wah pedal. His sound and tone was incredible. We soon were kicked out to let the other bands set up and to set up the ticket line. When they let us back in from the VERY cold outside, we came in and got autographs from Mr. Green, Mr. Broadrick, and Ted Parsons formally of Prong. Mr. Parsons was sporting a cast on his foot from a fall off the bus in D.C. "It was just one of those things..." he said.


Godflesh was up next. Peabody's was packed with about 250 plus people all waiting to get violent to Godflesh. They came out at 11:25 and everyone went crazy. Ted set off the beginning sample off of Wake and Justin let his guitar feedback to it. When he started, the entire place went nuts. The entire concert was one big pit. My friend and I were in front of the stage trying not to get crushed from the bodies behind us. They then played another song off of Songs of Love and Hate, Sterile Prophet. Another great response from the crowd. Before they started, we saw the set list.

  1. Wake
  2. Sterile Prophet
  3. Spite
  4. Mothra
  5. Crush My Soul
  6. Anything is Mine
  7. Hunte
  8. Amoral
  9. Time Death and Wastefulness
  10. Cristbait Rising
  11. Like Rats (encore)

After they played Cristbait Rising with it's mesmerizing ending riff, Justin played around with feedback, delay, and pitchshifting and let out sounds never heard on this earth that rumbled out of his Marshall halfstack. How ironic that even though Slo Bob (opening band) had bigger and louder equipment, Godflesh obviously blew them out of existence. The encore only had one song, Like Rats, and the crowd showed Godflesh what it means to play in the Rock and Roll Capitol of the World. At the end of Like Rats, Justin let off a barrage of high pitch frequency noise which blew out almost everyone's ears (boy did that hurt but well worth the tinnitus). He gave out a final goodbye to Cleveland and left the stage. They had to leave early for some unknown reason (methinks it was the blizzard that occurred as we left Peabody's) to get down to Cincinati for the next show on the 14th. Godflesh delivered, and hopefully they will return back to Cleveland on their next tour of the states. I will never forget this concert ever and not just because of the severe tinnitus I have right as we speak. INCREDIBLE....

Date: 11th November, 1996
Location: Wetlands, New York City
Review By: Benjamin Hudgins

Wetlands is a relatively small venue, so there wasn't much room for fancy effects, etc. So Justin and GC just didn't bother. They came on stage and kicked in our heads. It was fantastic.

Great pit, too. Always a bonus.

Date: 10th November, 1996
Location: Tuxedo Junction
Review By: Jeff Wheeler


Then Godflesh took the stage. I had never really had a grasp on how big Justin was until he walked by me towards the stage earlier in the night. He's what 6'2"? 6'3"? After looking at the photo on the self titled disc, I would have thought him to be a lot smaller, but I digress. Ripping through a trio of tunes from the new CD, they were on their way for an hour long sonic joyride filled with feedback, samples and crushing energy. There was more excitement and life put into the songs than a CD could ever capture, Anything is Mine is the only track from Selfless that even approached harnessing the power in the music, and live it simply exploded. Even the closers from Streetcleaner, had a resounding feel that could only come from a live performance. The drumming was good, and it was nice to see Ted Parsons back in action.


Date: 9th November, 1996
Location: Capitol Ballroom, Washington DC
Review By: Kurt Stefan Gluck

Godflesh is one my all time favorite acts around, and when I found out they would be headlining there own U.S. tour, I was ecstatic. They came to Washington D.C., playing the Capitol Ballroom at almost one in morning. They played a short but exciting show, with a highly mixed but repsonsive audience. The first thing we noticed was that the support band, VOD had cancelled. We never found out why. We saw upon arriving the trademark Marshall guitar amps Justin uses being trucked in, as Godflesh followed the Black Crowes show earlier in the day. We walked around for a bit, and the announcement came that they were to begin soon. The stage they played on was tiny, with barely enough room to fit everyone comfortably. Ted Parsons, new recruit formerly of Prong and the Swans, first entered the stage, Heiniken in hand and sat at a small drun kit. Then Ben and Justin walked on, Justin in a heavy hooded sweatshirt that was removed as soon as got on and picked up his guitar. He took awhile to set up a row of chainlinked pedals, then popped in the ADAT and after a quick test of the machine, swung full force into Wake,the first track from the new album. Justin's voice was absolutely destroyed, however, making for the only disappointment of the evening. They continued straight through the new album, with Justin's strange halftime headbanging and incredible guitar playing making up for his loss of vocal. The band then played the first two cuts off of Pure, and the moshers were in full force during Mothra, which really benefited from having a live drummer.

They played some more songs from SoLaH, and played favorites from selfless, including Crush My Soul which had a rave-y light strobing show. Justin pushed his guitar to the limit during the end of the song, making it scream and sound as tortured as possible.

The set ended with the audience clamoring for old material, and Godflesh obliged, playing an incredible version of Christbait Rising. To end, Ben and Ted walked off, leaving Justin playing the guitar outro. Setting his guitar on the floor feeding back, Justin bent over to manipulate his pedals. Justin Broadrick is truly a magical figure on stage, and once again every eye in the audience was riveted upon him as he delightedly sent wave after wave of noise issuing out. The result after several minutes was a peaceful chain reaction that ping-ponged back and forth between two vibrating strings, and faded out as he walked off.

Godflesh off stage were just as enjoyable as the were on. Talking to Ben, he relates that he is happy to come the United States, after hearing our thanks he responded "our pleasure". He signs ticket stubs, and then heads back. Justin Broadrick is smiling happily as he signs things, and is still atired in ratty adidas sneakers, camouflage pants, and a "Rosie and Jimi" t-shirt. He discusses the remixes he hopes to have out by early next year, fields our questions, and signs things. He apologises for his loss of voice, and when he speaks with you, he leans over, puts his arm around you, and whispers conspiratorially to you, with a smile. Godflesh are truly cool people, and the experience of seeing them onstage and off was worth a million times the price of admission.

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