Thought-smashing was achieved most ably by the mighty Napalm Death and a trio of support acts with generic death metal names. One of them played a song about working in a fast food restaurant ("this one's called Whopper Slavery"); the next band played a song about TV presenter Noel Edmunds. It looked/sounded like this.
And then old-enough-to-know-better Brummie death-grind behemoths Napalm Death took to the stage.
Everything after that is a bit of a blur, but I woke up the next morning with ringing ears, countless bruises and an overwhelming urge to buy everything they ever did ever.
Nine days later I found myself limping back to the same venue for something far less abrasive. Support came from Mojo Fury, a band I saw supporting And So I Watch You From Afar earlier in the year. They were much as I remember them; which is to say that they were jolly good, but rendered utterly forgettable by the sheer brilliance of the main act. The main act in this case being Amplifier, a band that has been continuing to release superb records for some years in spite of the fact that almost no-one seems to buy them. What they play could be described as prog, but without all the flute solos and songs about hobbits; instead they go for big riffs, cosmic guitar effects and two-disc concept records about a dark matter trading space octopus.
I realise I'm probably not selling them particularly well. Trust me, they're awesome.
In between all this awesomeness, I did something that I am not terribly proud of.
I played Dungeons & Dragons.
In my defence, I only did so in order to fulfil a promise to my good friend The Lieutenant Commander (known formerly as The Lieutenant), who will be soon be spending much of his time in a submerged tin can firing missiles at unspecified patches of land.
D20's were rolled. Booze was consumed. Our bold party of adventurers displayed a remarkable talent for rampaging off on wild goose chases and getting beaten up by local small time gangsters. Our monumental ineptitude ensured that the baddies won and the nobility of an entire city were burned to death by religious zealots.
And then I died and got reincarnated as some kind of gittish Mr Tumnus.