Soulfly Live in Nottingham

Soulfly ivNottingham Rock City’s Basement stage is usually reserved for new, up-and-coming and the occasional not very good band. Tonight it welcomes a legitimate legend in the shape of Max Cavalera and his latest incarnation of Soulfly (which now includes his son Zyon on drums).

Predictably, the show sold out well in advance, but it can’t be upgraded because the Presidents Of The United States Of America are playing upstairs. The final two songs of that show will be great…

So it’s a an extremely sweaty basement for us and fans are stacked and packed tightly with people standing on just about anything available to get a glimpse of the band on the low stage tucked away in the corner.

Soulfly, completed by Tony Campos and long serving guitar man Marc Rizzo, walk out to the intro to ‘Bloodshed’ from the awesome latest ‘Savages’ album and from there on the temperature rises on a constant and linear scale.

Soulfly iiMoshing, bouncing and general clambering to get a good view makes the tightly packed crowd move as one, like a bearded and leather-clad school of fish. A Soulfly crowd doesn’t need telling to “Jumpdafuckup” and (more than) fully grown men bounce around like school boys, whilst others try their best to escape the crush and struggle towards the back.

Max told before the show that he was playing longer sets than he’d ever performed before in his career on this tour. With nine Soulfly albums and the small matter of those classic Sepultura ones to pick material from, it’s not really surprising. ‘Prophecy’ and ‘Primitive’ are both played in the first part of the set and then it’s time for a first taste of Sepultura with ‘Refuse Resist’. Quite a start…

It’s a pattern that continues throughout the night, with Soulfly and Sepultura tunes trading blows. ‘Blood Fire…’ and ‘Master of Savagery’ stand out from the former; whilst the brutal ‘Arise’ steals the show from the classics selection. Rizzo’s almost machine-like guitar work may well now be a trademark Soulfly sound but it doesn’t always work on the Sepultura stuff. ‘Roots’ in particular lacks a bit of dirt under it’s fingernails. It is a minor grumble and Max’s deep roar makes sure it’s still as close to the real deal as you’ll get.


Max and co. play a good hour and a half set before the scripted encore. “Shout for us while we stand behind the amps”. It’s not worth the hassle to climb off and on the stage, especially when the dressing room door is in full view of the crowd anyway…

‘Jump…’ worked into an extended ‘Eye for an Eye’ closes the super-hot show just before curfew time. We all wander out a little hot and bothered (to the predictable sound of ‘Peaches’ ringing out from upstairs) on a very successful night for the Soulfly tribe.