Oaf Live at Hammerfest IV

Oaf are, perhaps, the most unlikely duo you will ever see at a Metal festival. OK, so Bassist/Frontman Dom Lawson looks the part but drummer James Rayment looks like he’d be more at home somewhere else.

Like the 1930s

Anyone who has seen the dynamic duo before knows that you can’t always judge a book by it’s (tweed) jacket, and after reputation building appearances at Hammerfest 3 and Download the Queen Vic was packed at an unnaturally early hour to catch the weekend’s only Drum’n’Bass turn.

Oaf at Hammerfest by CackBlabbathThose who have seen the band before know what to expect, but that didn’t mean that we didn’t still jump 6 feet in the air as Dom let fly his first eardrum-bursting roar as the band launched into The Oaferture from their debut album Botheration.

Christ it was loud !!! I’m sure that legendary producer Russ Russell who was handling the sound for Oaf did that deliberately.

Oaf live are something you just have to experience. Dom’s rambling monologues between songs have the crowd in stitches, and his explanations about the meanings behind the songs (or, rather, lack of meaning on occasion) is always awesome, while James tries to keep some semblance of order.

Today’s set was made up of “classic” Oaf material from their first album and a generous helping of new material. I particularly liked their ode to the “pterodactyl of the sea”, the snappily entitled Fuck Off Seagull.

It’s nice to see that after a first album which included tracks like Tiny When Erect and No More Tickets For The Time Machine Dom and James have managed to maintain that level of seriousness with titles like We Know Why You’re Rubbish At Darts, and a song about defacing religious monuments….. called Marker Pen Cocks.

No, really, that’s what it’s called.

The thing is, Oaf are actually brilliant. I mean genuinely, absolutely brilliant. James mastery of his minimalist drum kit puts many a “double kick drum and a load of toms” player to shame, he smacks seven shades of hell out of his kit while Dom plays “lead Bass” with a dexterity and entertainment value that, frankly, outshone most of the lead guitarists on display at this homage to the riff.

Now if you are wondering just exactly how seriously to take the duo, then you’re thinking about it too much.

I defy you to watch them and not enjoy it.