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Wargasm guitarist Sam Matlock alleges bouncers at London venue slammed his head against a toilet seat in “unnecessary use of force”

UK duo Wargasm
Sam Matlock and Milkie Way of UK duo Wargasm (Image credit: Lorne Thomson / Getty)

Sam Matlock, guitarist and vocalist for UK duo Wargasm, has accused bouncers at a leading London venue of “unnecessary use of force," following a performance at The Scala on November 5. 

In a statement posted on Twitter, the band claim that after Wargasm’s set the venue’s bouncers were “verbally aggressive” towards the band’s female tour manager, which led to Matlock “having to step in.” 

The band alleges that the security team then assaulted Matlock, stating: “In a completely overzealous and unnecessary use of force, three bouncers then dragged Sam into the backstage toilets, where two of them slammed his head against the toilet seat and held his head in the toilet bowl while the third bouncer held the door closed with his foot.

“At this point, luckily, another member of our touring party was able to intervene and remove Sam from the situation, not without injury, which can be seen in the next photo.”

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Wargasm then shared an image of Matlock revealing the extent of his purported injures.

The band say they have attempted to contact the venue’s management over the weekend “to no avail” and that the incident proved “deeply shocking," stating “from our experience we no longer consider Scale a safe venue, especially for women.”

The night's promoters Face Down posted their own statement in response to the allegations soon after, saying: “We are aware of an incident with the security at Scala involving Wargasm. Firstly we would like to extend our sincere apologies to them for this. While we do not employ the security at our events, as this is the Venue's responsibility we do not appreciate people being manhandled in this way be it someone in the crowd or backstage. This has been communicated to the venue and we await their response.”

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The Scala then issued a response via Facebook on Monday, saying “Scala is aware of the allegations that have been made and are conducting a full scale investigation with our security provider, Saber Security. We will not tolerate this sort of behaviour alleged or otherwise.”

On Monday, Face Down issued a further update on Twitter, which read: “Hi all. We are currently speaking to The Scala. They have let us know that the security involved in this horrific incident have been sacked. We think this will be a good start but we would like to go further after listening to the feedback. This will not be our final update regarding this as we are weighing up options and will update you all soon.”

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Meanwhile, the BBC is reporting that a spokesman for the Security Industry Authority (SIA), which regulates UK security licences, confirmed a complaint had been received, stating, “We have received a report relating to an incident at the Wargasm gig and will be looking into this further.”

Update #1: This article was updated on November 9, 2021 to reflect the fact that promoters Face Down had quickly issued their own statement on November 7, which apologised to Wargasm and condemned the alleged behaviour of the security team. 

Update #2: November 18, 2021. Promoters Face Down have since shared plans to "forge forward with positive change", which have arisen from a series of intensive meetings with The Scala management team.

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Matt Parker

Matt is a freelance journalist who has spent the last decade interviewing musicians for the likes of Total Guitar, Guitarist, Guitar World, MusicRadar, NME.com, DJ Mag and Electronic Sound. In 2020, he launched CreativeMoney.co.uk, which aims to share the ideas that make creative lifestyles more sustainable. He plays guitar, but should not be allowed near your delay pedals.