With their very casual image it’s easy to assume that the four guys setting up and soundchecking equipment are roadies and not, in fact, Pepper Keenan, Reed Mullin, Woody Weatherman and Mike Dean, AKA Corrosion of Conformity.

As the storm clouds began to gather above, the second stage of the prestigious Download Festival prepared for a sludge fest in more than one sense of the word.

Opening with These Shrouded Temples and Broken Man, the hardcore fans immediately lapped it up, including one Kirk Windstein, spotted in the crowd, but of the rest in attendance it was difficult to distinguish between those curious to see CoC and those not interested. Unless that’s just the way people watch bands like that?

There’s no denying that the band is a wholly more entertaining beast when being fronted by the confidence and charisma of Pepper Keenan, but songs like Who’s Got the Fire? from America’s Volume Dealer, whilst suiting Pepper down to the ground don’t quite sit right alongside Clean My Wounds and King of the Rotten.

Predictably, finisher (although absent when the band played as a 3 piece at Bloodstock a couple of years back) Vote With A Bullet had everyone’s head nodding in appreciation and there is no denying CoC are very good at what they do, but unfortunately what they do isn’t really my cup of tea.

Photo Credit: Andrew Whitton