at The Cluny, Newcastle, U.K., June 27, 2022

CRO-MAGS (Live at The Cluny, Newcastle, U.K., June 27, 2022)
Photo: Mick Burgess

As the initially timid crowd stood hesitantly towards the back of the room, clearly anticipating a taste of things to come, a ferocious Harley Flanagan ordered them forward to fill the gap or he wouldn’t play a single note and Harley is not someone to disobey.

As the crowd shuffled hesitantly forward, Cro-Mags launched into “We Gotta Know” and all hell broke loose as they responded to Flanagan’s call to arms.

From that moment on it was none stop, in your face, classic New York Hardcore by the masters and originators themselves from “No One’s Victim” to “From The Grave”, the hard driving, frantic riffs and deep, grinding grooves had the crowd in an absolute frenzy as Flanagan spat forth his take on social disharmony.

Hailing Newcastle for bringing Venom to the world, Flanagan was clearly delighted to be in the land of his heroes and seemed to step up the level of aggression at the mere mention of their name.

Flanagan showed a more vulnerable side as he broke down on detailing his battles with PTSD and life on the streets and how they shaped his life. Flanagan fought back the tears of rage and despair as he launched into a brutal “PTSD” from their latest album In The Beginning before heading right back to the very start with “World Peace.”

As the evening progressed more people ventured up onto the stage, some trading vocals with Flanagan and others hurling themselves into the furious moshpit in front of them and surfing across the heads of the increasing lively crowd, who at one stage burst through the fire escape.

During a relentless “Life On Earth” a stage diver inadvertently knocked the power off bringing brief respite to the shattered crowd but normal service was swiftly resumed with “Street Justice” and “Survival of the Streets” and just as the show was reaching fever pitch…bang, the Cro-Mags literally blew the fuse with their high intensity, rabble rousing show. A smiling Flanagan yelled an apology over the cheering crowd bringing the show to a slightly premature but ultimately exhilarating end.

Review and Photos By Mick Burgess


  • Mick Burgess

    Mick is a reviewer and photographer here at Metal Express Radio, based in the North-East of England. He first fell in love with music after hearing Jeff Wayne's spectacular The War of the Worlds in the cold winter of 1978. Then in the summer of '79 he discovered a copy of Kiss Alive II amongst his sister’s record collection, which literally blew him away! He then quickly found Van Halen I and Rainbow's Down To Earth, and he was well on the way to being rescued from Top 40 radio hell!   Over the ensuing years, he's enjoyed the Classic Rock music of Rush, Blue Oyster Cult, and Deep Purple; the AOR of Journey and Foreigner; the Pomp of Styx and Kansas; the Progressive Metal of Dream Theater, Queensrÿche, and Symphony X; the Goth Metal of Nightwish, Within Temptation, and Epica, and a whole host of other great bands that are too numerous to mention. When he's not listening to music, he watches Sunderland lose more football (soccer) matches than they win, and occasionally, if he has to, he goes to work as a property lawyer.

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