I only ever got to see Dead Stop twice, once at the Underworld and shortly after at the Verge (?). The epitomised the live and authentic “hardcore” experience to me and it was the first time I felt as if I’d been transported to Boston or D.C. circa ‘84. Sure, sure the Negative Approach re-union in ’06 was fun – but these weren’t old guys rehashing past glories, it was youthful, incendiary and despite its retro take, it had a fresh snottyness about it which a lot of the UK and EU stuff was lacking in at the time. There were a fair few Euro’s in the crowd at the ninjafest show in The Underworld who were more familiar with their set and really ignited the first live performance for me in particular, and I recall Reckless Youth’s vocalist dropped in for a few numbers too, getting knee’d in the head and practically hitting the deck – but fuck me, that old saying that it felt like “a bomb going off” wasn’t far from the truth, I was at ground zero for that set and it just clicked.
Vocalist Lino left quite an impression on me, a little man with a big mouth and a most excellent moustache to compliment it; lyrics were delivered in English but came out in a frantic Flemish derangement which just made it even fucking better in my books. It stuck enough to the American blueprint to keep the testosterone up, but messed with the formula and kept it unsullied. They were incredibly tight too, considering the chaos that ensued on both occasions, and at such close proximity. I must have spun the first 7", "Live For Nothing" LP and the 86 Mentality split for most of my final year in University, which were great but still had me hankering for more live action before their demise, which sadly never came. I don’t go to as many hardcore gigs these days and I’m not going to pretend to make up for lost time, but Dead Stop was and still is the shit.