Slipknot: 10 pictures from Portsmouth Guildhall of the night the masked metal band were banned

They terrorised middle America and brought an aggressive metal sound to the fore in the late 1990s – and when Slipknot arrived in Portsmouth there was chaos.

In March 2000 Slipknot – with their horror-inspired masks and uniform of boiler suits were, if not one of the biggest bands in the world then certainly one of the most talked-about.

Photographer Paul Windsor was at their gig at Portsmouth Guildhall on March 3, 2000.

He said it was originally booked at The Pyramids – ‘can you imagine that?’ – and that the show sold out in seconds and was upgraded to Portsmouth Guildhall.

‘I arrived early as there were three bands on,’ said Paul. ‘I noticed a long queue snaking round the corner with kids in the red jumpsuits and homemade masks. This will be interesting I thought.

‘First up were Canadian all-female band Kittie followed by Welsh rockers One Minute Silence that warmed the crowd up to a fever pitch – so much so that what followed I have never witnessed anything like it at a gig either at the time or since.

‘Slipknot appeared to take an age to appear so the crowd downstairs started to goad those in the balcony seats. All of a sudden armrests from seats upstairs were being ripped off and launched into the crowd downstairs and one unfortunate fan was hauled out with blood streaming from his face. Standing in the photographers’ pit I had to take evasive action several times.

‘Then they appeared, and bedlam ensued – in a cacophony of noise Slipknot were here.’

Paul said it was the pre-digital days so he had two cameras loaded, but made the mistake of placing one on the stage.

One of the Slipknot percussionists picked it up.

‘Fearing it would be trashed we had a bit of a tussle, me grabbing his famous red overalls,’ said Paul. ‘Alas he wriggled free and took a step back and took a picture of me and the crowd.

‘I didn’t see much more of the show as I was confronted by one of their security team stating I had overstepped the industry standard of only photographing three songs. I responded by saying it was difficult to know when song finished and another started.’

After this Slipknot were banned from The Guildhall.

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