REVIEW gig Conan O2 Forum, 06/07/2016

Conan Rattle The Forum's Foundations

UK heavy metal trio Conan are the group burdened/blessed with opening proceedings for legendary stoner rock band Sleep at Kentish Town’s O2 Forum on this too-warm evening. The stage initially seems rather overly large for the slightly disheveled trio, and they make no immediate claim to it-in fact it would not have been difficult to simply dismiss their presence, if you were to ignore the sound they produced.

How you would ignore Conan’s sound, exactly, is the question that indicates how useless an evaluation of their physical stage presence is. Were you to plug your ears as thoroughly as is possible (in fact, I’d recommend some high quality, custom earplugs), with or without causing permanent damage to yourself, you would not escape the noise, not least through the bass vibrations rumbling through the whole of the Forum.

The familiarity of the audience with the support band is almost impossible to judge, but their popularity during their set was clear. The steady stream of people into the venue over the three-quarters of an hour stayed, for the most part, in the spots they arrived in, with the waves of nodding heads only increasing.

The set is so absorbing that when the final note has rung out through the auditorium, the gradual rise in chatter feels jarring. As excellent a choice for support as Conan were, you feel the promoters missed a trick in not bridging the set gap with some more appropriate records over the PA system-their split with US outfit Bongripper, perhaps?