CORONER 2013 EUROPEAN TOUR REPORT: Part 1 @ Meh Suff Festival, Hüttikon, Switzerland, 08/10/2013
May 29, 2014 at 1:04pm
The cult trio from Zurich hits the road again in 2013 for 5 more shows. The Daily Rock has the privilige to have one of its members following the event as an insider. First step,the small but extreme Meh Suff Festival.
When in Spring 2011,after (too long) a fifteen year silence Coroner get on stage at Les Docks,in Lausanne,the fans excitement is running as high as the musicians stress. During this long time of inactivity,Ron Royce (bass/vocals)and Marquis Marky(drums),had totally left their instruments aside,whileTommy T . Baron(guitars) had worked mainly as a music producer,even though he also worked and toured for a while with Stephan Eicher and Kreator.
But the huge Coroner show at the Docks,in a venue that had reached boiling point and filled within credulous fans,and the following tour throuhout Europe and the US until the end of 2012 finally left everyone reassured :medias,fans,and most of all….the band !!
But with the band remaining on standby for the best part of a year,doubt was slowly creeping up among the fans.Were we ever going to see the thrash metal trio (now turned into a four-piece band,asthe brilliant Daniel Stoessel joined them to add various samples and effects) on stage?
Many being rather pessimistic,it’s with some sort of excitement teinted with relief that five more dates were booked early 2013:two in Switzerland,one in France,one in Norway,and finally one in the Netherlands,all within the second half of the year.
One of our reporters is to follow Coroner very closely on most dates,and report exclusively for the Daily Rock his impressions on each and every move of the boys from Zurich.
Step 1 : Meh Suff Festival, Hüttikon (Switzerland), August10 th 2013
It’s at home that Coroner will start this 2013 festival tour.Indeed,the Meh Suff Festival takes place right in the middle of a field just a few kilometres outside Zurich,their hometown.
The band and road crew meet up int their rehearsal room (a nuclear shelter right in the heart of Zurich!!) and start piling up their kit in their van.Ron,the singer,tells us that he’s now beyond the point of occasionally sickening anxiety always reached before a show.Surprising confession for a musician with such talent and experience….
Twenty minutes later,our small group clears a lovely forest and stops on the site where the Meh Suff is to take place,an isolated field.
Our arrival is rather surreal :after clearing a forest,we end up on a freshly mowed field,on an improvised car park and backstage area behind a middle sized stage,already occupied by an unidentified extreme metal band( Requiem? Battalion ??).
It’s obvious that the site suffered from the weather the day before.Nevertheless,on this particular saturday the weather is gorgeous,luckily,as in the backstage area very few places have a proper roof:three tents are up.One is used asa dressing room for the bands,in the best case four metre square available,just enough to put down their instrument cases.A second tent is used as a meal room,and the third one is the kitchen.Outside a few tables and benches can be found,that’s it for what could be classed as a rather austere backstage area.
Oliver,Coroner’s manager,is already there when we arrive. He gives every staff member a pass and makes sure every detail is covered,very focused on his protegees.As the band is due to hit the stage three hours later,it’s a long wait.
Each musician has his own way to get ready and warm up,a bit like a sportsman before a record attempt oran actor before the curtain comes up.
Ron goes back to the van and warms upin his own way.
Marky goes wandering about , very talkative,as per usual;the band playing in its own backyard,he bumps into various acquaintances and spends also some precious time organizing the arrival of his little family,who’ll join him a littlebit later.
Tommy is always the quietest during the pre-gig hours.He always needs a bit of isolation,where he deals with stress and concentration.However,he too bumps into people he knows in the backstage area.
The wait is however going to seem a lot shorter:a surprise arrival gets everybody together : Lou Cubello,Coroner’s former right hand since the very beginning of the band turns up.Lou,you know,the guy who sings « Der Mussolini »,but also the devoted tech since day one.
Since the reunion,Lou had got into the habit of introducing the band on stage.For private reasons,Lou had taken a step back regarding the band since the Zurich gig at the end of 2011. Obviously,he took the opportunity of the Meh Suff being so close to meet up with his long time mates.The welcome he gets is a moment of spontaneous freshness in the middle of the ambient stuffiness.Daniel,Marky,Ron,and Tommy welcome him with long and warm hugs.The Coroner family is reunited !
A little while later,it’s Marky’s turn to be reunited with his family,notably his lovely young daughter who,sat on a friend’s shoulders,will get to watch her « drummy daddy » play on stage.
To tell you the truth,rubbing shoulders with Coroner backstage,you’d tend to forget about what’s happening on stage.However,the very loud sound coming from it is enough to remind us that something is going on.And when comes the time when the musicians of Dark Fortress,a German Black Metal band,get ready next to Coroner to hit the stage,the shock is edifying ! So much for making mates backstage,one would almost forget that Meh Suff is an extreme Metal festival….
In order to let the Coroner members enjoy their friends and relatives,we drift towards the stage.The general atmosphere is very warm Whereas the bands battle onstage,many fans enjoy the welcome shade of the tents to have a drink or dig into the merchandising stand to find the latest goodies,which is just perfect,as the new Coroner T-shirts are out.Between the blood red logo and the golden one,the choice is rather nice !!
A walk through the crowd shows something new : never have so many Coroner shirt been worn! Among the crowd we can find some old fans,from the early days,,and,more surprising,some young fans,already noticed for instance during 69Chambers (Tommy’s other band) in Lugano last February.
Back in the backstage area,a short 20 minutes before Coroner’ show.The road crew is nowfully active.As they waith for Dark Fortress to leave the stage,Markyis behind the back drop,making adjustments on his drum kit.Daniel is right next to him,doing likewise with his electronic kit.Concentration can be read on their faces.
Tommy is warming up on his own,sat behind the stage.As per usual,even with his huge talent and experience,he looks very tense.
A moment later,it’s the appearance of Lou Cubello,his old mate,that finally brings a smile to his face.
Marky is a lot more relaxed.His drumkit is now ready.He puts on a Karma to Burn Tshirt,and,seeing our camera lens,decides to take a slightly provocating pose.
On stage,the roadies are now in full action mode.Ron’s mic is checked within seconds.In the meantime,Ben,Tommy’s very efficient guitar tech is already bringing out heavy riffs.On the other side of the stage,Lou,always about,is keeping an eye out just to make sure that everything is going as planned.
The crew leaves the stage,and,dead on time,the show can start.It’s a pleasant surprise when Lou,obviously a guest of honour introduces Coroner,followed immediately by the band’s atmospheric intro…
Due to a « festival »configuration,Coroner’s show is limited to around fifty minutes.Furthermore,as they play in front of a rather « extreme »crowd,Coroner will put the emphasis on the more agressive tracks of their repertoire (6 albums between 1987 and 1995),such as « MaskedJackal »,which is played very early in the set.
The band picks tracks equally from each album,and strings them together without any dead time.
« Son of Lilith »featuring on the track list is a real event.This track,requested time and time again by hundreds of die hard fand finally finds its place !!
On the musicians side of things,Ron is very sharp tonight and seems particularly at ease.Tommy seems inhabited by his music and its riffs,with little communication with the fans,even though he comes and brandishes his guitar on the edge of the stage,as to appeal to his audience of the day.
The « Status:still thinking /Metamorphosis » sequence remains one of the most spellbinding moments of the set,just as the classic but however brilliant solo played by Tommy and his E-Bow during« Metamorphosis ».
The last tracks of the band,balanced mix of their albums (« Die by my hand », « Semtex revolution », « Grin ») are performed as dusk comes down.From behind the stage,the effect is striking.
As an Encore, Coroner will, as per usual their revised version of « Reborn through hate ». Ovation from the crowd. In contrast with Dying Fetus annoyance, who are whinging by the stage,as they realize that Coroner exceeded their on stage time by a good ten minutes….They will be the only ones on that night !!
Daily Rock (text and photos)
Translation by Thomas Chabanne