Live Review: Alec Empire [Satan’s Hollow, Manchester] May 2, 2009

By May 4, 2009 September 11th, 2016 Live

The first thing we should tell you in this review is that, no matter where you are from, you need to head over to Satan’s Hollow. Tonight, this incredibly cool venue hosts a wonderful night of blistering Industrial sounds from some real masters of their craft.

Alec Empire


The evening opens with the ever-enchanting Novus:UK who have improved dramatically since we attended Woolstock in Leeds last year and saw them showcase their fiery brand of rock-tinged electronic music. Though things take a while to get going, as soon as the unique angle-grinding begins, and once the established material is brought into play the mood lifts and things really heat up. The ever emotive ‘Closer the Net’ hits on all the right spots and is a real highlight whilst ‘Liberty’ and its sonic assault keeps everybody moving. Each member of the group performs well together and their passion cannot be questioned. It is clear that they are making all the right waves in the scene and the proof is in their impressive catalogue of support credits.

It needs to be said that, even with the grinding awesomeness something else is needed to turn the Novus’ machine into an unstoppable force. Even though this is like sacrilege to even hint at when considering this scene, we believe that a live drummer could really amp up the effect of their dominant EBM backing and in turn add a whole new and exciting dimension to the great spectacle. All in all, this was a great set and however Novus evolve, it is true to say that they can’t possibly be ignored.

Novus:UK live


Modulate are a completely different kettle of bouncing cyber fish. These boys’ have wires attached to their collective heart. They rip through their anthemic catalogue of hard-hitting dark-dance goodness. Some real standouts include ‘Revolution’ and the truly addictive and raucous ‘Skullfuck.’ The great thing about this three-piece is that although they make dance music that’s built for success in clubs, their live energy is infectious and as such it’s something that could at the very least hold its own as part of a rock show, because the tone is aggressive and the mood just…rocks. Geoff Lee headbangs his way through the tracks, and those looking on bounce up and down without a care in world, chanting along with the samples and beating their fists in time because there just isn’t space to move any other limb. Modulate are one of the very best live acts on the UK Industrial scene, if not the best. We challenge you to prove us wrong. They very nearly steal the show in their hometown and they certainly prove that the spirit of “Madchester” is very much alive and well within them.

Geoff rocking out!


After a long wait, the riot begs. Now, we are not the biggest officionados of Empire’s work, but we know that recently he has toned down his digital-hardcore thump in favour of more 80s electro-styled material. We had been told that Alec might only break out new stuff so we didn’t really have high expectations. However, when he whipped through the wonderfully extreme ‘The Ride’ from the ‘Intelligence and Sacrifice’ album and later, ‘Destroy 2000 Years of Culture,’(the latter track being from the Atari Teenage Riot glory days,) any preconceptions were smashed and fans old and new became instantly hooked and re-hooked on the Empire drug.

We would like to think that this show was something akin to that of ATR’s legendary Leeds Fest show back in 1999 purely because of the raw live energy shown by both Nic Endo (who rocked the machines so well) and the true showman Empire. Tonight he showed just how much he was enjoying the “buzz” of live performance by crowd surfing on the day that he turns 37-years-old. The same dangerous mix of raw energy and euphoria is inspired within the crowd and they go completely mental throughout. We took a few knocks, but it was, as you might expect well worth it to be smacked in the face with the likes of ‘Addicted to You’ and ‘On Fire’ going on in the background. This was the best gig we have been to so far this year, and everyone went home hurting but happy in the knowledge that Alec Empire and Nic Endo are back and on really fine form.

Alec Empire

Hello Manchester!

For more information visit the Alec Empire’s Myspace.

View the video for ‘Addicted to You’ below:

Words: Dom Smith

Pics: Dan Buckley


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