Rock bottom

Tucked away in the cellar of a Denton pizza shack is a club that offers punk rock bands a place to re-discover why they make music in the first place

It's after midnight, the same Thursday night that the Visitors and Supersport 396 played. Supersport has cleared the stage for Denton's own Dooms U.K., which is a crowd in itself. All the members, most Denton rock veterans, seem very much at home; Dooms have played this club countless times. As the band sets up, the crowd lolls about in tiring, glassy-eyed anticipation in a room that seems even smaller, hotter, and ranker than it did an hour before.

"Last call!" someone shouts from above, and a handful of kids, presumably legal-age ones, trip up the stairs to buy one last beer. The lights dim one final time, and the band roars to life, ripping playfully through its odd array of comedy, metal, and cabaret. Halfway through the set, orange-haired frontman John Freeman surveys the night-weary crowd and strikes a quasi-defiant pose.

"Stand and deliver, fuckers!" he squeals, and the crowd jerks back to full attention and laughs and shouts back at him. That response is the band's payment, and tonight in the basement of a pizza shack, that's enough.

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