Live

LIVE: Reuben @ Academy 3, Manchester (24/09/2007)

Date: September 24th, 2007
Venue: Academy 3, Manchester
Support: Enjoy Destroy, Kill Kenada

Rating: 8/10

Website: www.wordsfromreuben.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/wordsfromreuben

Reuben profile

‘In Nothing We Trust’ is Reuben‘s most recent release and their third full-length studio album, and they’ve recently embarked on a UK tour to accompany and promote this album. On these dates, they’re accompanied by small UK support acts Enjoy Destroy and Kill Kenada. Everyone at the venue has got to have at least heard of Reuben to be here, and most are probably here just for them, and with the band having one of the most dedicated fan bases around you can assume instantly that the atmosphere and reaction from the crowd is going to be immense.

Opening support act Enjoy Destroy hit the stage to start the night’s antics. Consisting of members that look like they could all be related to one another and a frontman who sings, plays guitar AND plays the keyboard on top of that, they deliver melodic alternative rock and soften the audience for the next two upcoming acts. They’re merely just preparing slowly but surely for the experience they’ll get from second support band, Kill Kenada.

One of the more atmospheric and experimental bands we’ve seen recently, Kill Kenada open their set with a short instrumental. This band look like a group of three misfits; there’s guitarist Danny Williams, who dresses fashionably according to today’s standards, drummer Eldge who looks like he could play in a metal/hardcore band, and a make-up wearing bassist and frontman Tim Smithen – who has tattoos dotted in various areas across both arms including the likes of Gloomy Bear and characters from the video game Pac-Man. However, when a band sounds as intense as Kill Kenada do tonight it wouldn’t matter if one dressed like Darth Vader, another like an Umpa Lumpa, and another like a Womble. Their songs mainly tell of anger, rage, and self-hatred with chorus lines such as “I fucking hate myself!”, and they get the audience pumped up and ready for tonight’s headliners.

After a 30 minute interval the room fades to black, and headliners Reuben soon jump to the stage. Wearing black shirts with the letters ‘A’, ‘B’ and ‘C’ on front of them, (from the video of their recent single – ‘Deadly Lethal Ninja Assassin’), the band begin their set with ‘Suffocation Of The Soul’. As soon as Jamie Lenman begins the opening lyrics “I thought that I was full of such hope and light, and such love” the fans instantly sing the words straight back at him, and this is the way it is for the entire duration of the gig. They scream, they sing, and just throw the lyrics straight back into the band’s face, and in some occasions they even overpower Jamie‘s voice through their amplifiers.

A few songs later the band play ‘Everytime A Teenager Listens To Drum & Bass, A Rockstar Dies’, and during the drum sample opening Jamie starts doing a robot dance, “Everyone join in and do the robot dance”, and just like that over half the crowd join in with Jamie and Jon‘s techno dancing. Clearly a band who aren’t afraid to reveal their humourous side and give their fans a good laugh along with their performance.

A few songs further into the set and the band come to play recent single release ‘Deadly Lethal Ninja Assassin’, but before they even play a single note Jamie grabs a huge heavy metal guitar, but has trouble trying to plug it into his effects pedals, and rants to the crowd afterwards “This bad boy’s more trouble than it’s worth… but I look awesome!” and the entire venue sends out a chuckle, another humorous venture. The night is coming to a close, and Reuben play the last song on their set list flawlessly, ‘A Short History Of Nearly Everything’, and just like every other song on their set their fans are singing back every word like a melodic serenade.

The last screams end what came to be a fantastic night out, underdogs Reuben do it once again. When a band’s live performace is of this level and calibre, it’s a wonder why this band aren’t much bigger already. They’ve got the skill, the technique, the humour, and have certainly got the dedication in their fans.

Written by Zach Redrup

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LIVE: Misery Signals @ Moho Live, Manchester (27/09/2009)

Date: September 27th, 2009
Venue: Moho Live, Manchester
Support: Empires Fade, The Number 12 Looks Like You, Your Demise

Rating: 7/10

Website: www.miserysignals.net
MySpace: www.myspace.com/miserysignals

Misery Signals profile

2009 has been a busy year for the boys in Misery Signals; constant touring across various countries and continents with various bands and a few festivals here and there, all to promote the band’s latest full-length ‘Controller’. The band even have a t-shirt available on this last leg with all the venues and dates they’ve done this year, and they nearly ran out of room. Definitely a big year.

On their last few dates for a good long time, Moho Live in Manchester starts off with a local support act, Empires Fade (***). Though they’re clearly not veterans in their style, the Mancunian 5-piece aren’t a band to just dismiss. Energetic and brutal from the get go, their metalcore presence on the stage is welcomed by both the familiar and the less so, with many of their local fans often running up to grab the mic out of vocalist Alex‘s hands.

Things are tuned to more frantic and crazy, though at times arguably more melodic for The Number 12 Looks Like You (****) and their huge funnel of influences to power them. Though this is their first time on UK shores even with 4 successful albums under their belts, it’s clear that it’s been an eagerly awaited event for many to see the mathcore band in the flesh. Steering mainly towards newer material like ‘The Garden’s All Nighters’ and ‘Jay Walking Backwards’, the recent loss of second vocalist Justin Pedrick is obvious, but the solo efforts of Jase Korman are admirable serve the 4-piece more than enough justice, and make the UK’s wait worthwhile and rewarding.

Leed’s based Your Demise (*****) turn things to cataclysmic levels of insanity. Literally seconds into the band’s set, the crowd implodes into a field of hardcore dancers and mosh pits, and those not involved rush to the front screaming lyric for lyric of each song. Newly recruited vocalist Ed McRae is on top form, jumping in on the action before him whilst screaming his heart out. At the look of the crowd’s reaction to the band and their material, you wouldn’t be surprised if those unfamiliar to this scene thought that they were the main act, becoming a tough support act to top.

Sadly Misery Signals (***) can’t quite cut it. It’s not that they don’t put on a great show, full of raw energy as per usual, it’s just tonight the band can’t quite pull it off as well as some of the supporting acts. The fact that frontman Karl Schubach is suffering from a cold may be a contributer to this slight dent on this show of the tour, but ultimately the band might just be having an off night. Still, numbers like ‘Weight Of The World’ and ‘A Certain Trigger’ still manage to erupt an impressive pit none the less, and can safely leave the band with the knowledge that things could’ve gone a lot worse.

Written by Zach Redrup

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LIVE: Title Of Injustice @ The Norfolk Inn, Stoke (13/10/2009)

Date: October 13th, 2009
Venue: The Norfolk Inn, Stoke-on-Trent
Support: Drederick Tatum, Hyde

Rating: 7/10

Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/titleofinjustice

Title Of Injustice profile

The Norfolk Inn is soon to be shut down, and is hosting its last few gigs during October 2009; one of which being Title Of Injustice and others. All bands are going without a mixing desk or stage, and playing straight on the pub floor besides the bar, and straight through amps like a practice session would be.

Chester’s Drederick Tatum (***) set things off with a bang. Though the crowd size is minimal, vocalist Gary Challinor and bassist Tom Plant still insist on jumping into people and getting them involved and more lively. The band had to bring in a new replacement guitarist Shaun Hayes (from I, Said The Spy!) for the night, who doesn’t seem to have dampened the group’s tight sound during songs like ‘I Am The British Beyonce’. The lack of spectators though seems to restrict the band’s true potential and energy output.

Vocal duties go to a duo effort with Crewe’s 5-piece Hyde (***), bringing a more hardcore metal sound with different influences here and there. Songs like ‘Beers Galore And Girls On The Floor’ offer the crowd a more fun aspect to the whole heavy sound the night seems to focus on, and vocalists Nath and Shane trade roles swiftly like a married couple. Bassist Tom seems to enjoy going mental and twirling his bass in all different directions, almost taking people like it was a spear. Things go to apocalyptic for the band’s closer ‘There’s No Such Thing As An Outro’, with both vocalists jumping head first into the audience, bassist Tom rolling around the floor and slamming his instrument to the ground, while guitarist Daniel French soon chucking his guitar alongside it.

Another Crewe-based metal band Title Of Injustice (****) are set to finish one of the pub’s final nights off, and though do so with a title of justice. Drummer Mat Capper‘s ability, and the guitar works of Scott Chesworth and Rowan Eason overshadows their ages, and show that even the youngest of musicians can show promise for something in the future. Though not quite as energetic as the frontmen from the previous acts, Shaun Povall still manages to hold his own equipped with his strong vocals. At one point he climbs up on a set of stage speakers before jumping off in front of the small crowd, and gives an unnatural but comforting charisma. The crowd-participating ‘Enemy’ doesn’t draw much of an input from the audience, but none the less reveals a great songwriting ability the band owns.

Maybe not the most packed out of gig nights, and maybe not the most popular or well-kept venues on offer, but the local acts that played there that night have given The Norfolk Inn a send-off it should be more than proud of.

Written by Zach Redrup

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LIVE: Title Of Injustice @ De.Bees, Winsford (28/07/2009)

Date: July 28th, 2008
Venue: De.Bees, Winsford
Support: Laid To Ruin, Heartless, Drederick Tatum

Rating: 8/10

Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/titleofinjustice

Title Of Injustice profile

If you want a surefire way to catch yourself in a moshpit, circle pit, or any sort of pit to that vain really then metal nights are the way to go. With the Cheshire area spawning off these brutal music groups more than rabbits going at it, it’s about time Winsford hosted one.

Tonight’s metal night openers Laid To Ruin (**) have the bare essentials down right; the loud screams and guttural lion growls, the fast galloping guitar riffs, and the heavy and dirty bass and drum combination, but lack the essentials to make them standout from being just ‘another local metal act’. Energy only comes in short little bursts, but when the most prolonged showing of activity comes along it’s in the form of frontman Ryan Nicholls (who we were told after writing this review was replaced that night by a friend of the band due to Ryan being ill) ridiculously smashing his fist (along with his microphone) into the head of what he later describes as a ‘friend’… odd friendship.

Needless to say, this sets an easy place for Heartless (***) to pull off something a little better for the locals. Having more of a hardcore sound as opposed to the more metal focused predecessors, they bring brings from earlier to a slightly new realm. The shortage of band to crowd communication leads to Heartless not getting too much of a reaction from the spectators but all the while still do themselves justice. Their set closer eradicates all of this though, with a member of the audience even jumping on stage and stealing the microphone to sing/scream-a-long.

Things are laid to waste entirely once The Simpsons boxer inspired deathcore novices Drederick Tatum (****) take to the stand. Their humourously titled songs like ‘In My Neighbourhood? I Don’t Think So’ and Friends referenced ‘Joey Doesn’t Share Food’ may at first seem to belie in comedy, but have a core and presence of pure anger, aggression and passion. This is all depicted and showcased through the explosion of frontman Gary Challinor, usually spending more time on the floor and moshing with the crowd and jumping off the stage – clearly giving it his all. What’s more, various members of the band have only just cleared themselves of the currently popular swine flu and still manage an appearance tonight.

High quality metal just keeps rolling on thanks to headliners Title Of Injustice (****). Coming onstage dressed in a Spider-Man costume, vocalist Shaun Povall shows a passion for the music he creates, and a stage presence beyond his years – being probably the youngest frontman to perform tonight. His screams and barks through a set with the likes of ‘Serenade In Smoke’ and ‘Left For Dead’ can put a lot of older local acts to shame. Accompanied by the dual guitar attack of Scott and Roca (who are again both fairly young), the band breathes a promise that sometimes those seen as the students can elevate to become the teacher. Sure, they’re not perfect and getting everything down like a 50p hooker, but a little more time and experience can give them the chance to fix that.

Written by Zach Redrup

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LIVE: DissolvedIn @ De.Bees, Winsford (30/06/2009)

Date: June 30th, 2009
Venue: De.Bees, Winsford
Support: Sgt. Wolfbanger, Meadow View, The Last Alive

Rating: 7/10

Website: www.dissolvedin.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/dissolvedin

DissolvedIn profile

Everyone knows that Download Festival is a monster, and in comparison the De.Bees music bar in Winsford is like that monsters arse stain on its underwear – not in the sense that it’s a terrible rock night, but just not even a scratch upon the experience. Regardless, previous Download headliners of the Red Bull Bedroom Jam tent DissolvedIn are making an appearance in the middle of nowhere. True dedication in their helms.

First in the following of local support acts comes Sgt. Wolfbanger (**) aren’t ones to make too much fuss about. Their sound is for the most part mainstream and their set is relatively tight, but the audience stood before them are distant, bored, and ultimately not that interested the whole time they’re onstage. The band make little to no effort to try and make this any different either, and though they look like they’re enjoying themselves, they lack in their much needed stage presence. Confessing you played a new song wrong last time you performed isn’t too smart of a move either, not that this has any affect on their show.

More energy erupts however when pop-punk 4-piece Meadow View (****) have their turn in the spotlight. The crowd from the predecessors increases two-fold at a minimum and all bring more spring in their steps, with groups of jumping bodies being ever present. Frontman Andi Barlow is a charismatic chap with their fans – old and newly acquired – and their onstage presence is an energetic and fun fusion for all. A few nuts and bolts need to be tightened here and there, but Meadow View are definitely on the right track to becoming a strong and worthy live act.

Things go a little more ambient and progressive in song style with The Last Alive (****). Currently in the middle of a tour across the most part of the country, the band have managed to hone and work on their live shows. Mid-song banter brings elements of comedy between vocalist Rob Scrannage and guitarist Stu Williams, but it’s the songs themselves and the way they’re delivered with that level of passion which brings The Last Alive up step after step. The random belts of harsh vocals make their first appearance of the night with these boys, and songs like ‘Cocaine White’ and ‘This Is Your Escape Route’ reveals an act that’s quality more then precedes their popularity and experience.

After playing to a crowd size more than twelve fold to what they’ve received tonight, it’s a quite a big change from their Download performance just more than a week beforehand. However, Reading’s DissolvedIn (****) march onwards like soldiers and deliver a set just like they would any other night or venue they perform at. Songs like ‘Peter Pan Syndrome’ have that fun pop-punk vibe and prowess to incite a party in anyone’s hearts, and though the reception and feedback in return is far from one these boys deserve they earn respect along with the knowledge to know their set was one to be proud of none the less. They can also remain confident in the fact that they’re probably one of the most popular acts to ever play at the De.Bees music bar, and have shown just why that is.

De.Bees is far from any music festival, but DissolvedIn came out like champs. Still, let’s roll on the next rock night and see what’s in store there.

Written by Zach Redrup

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LIVE: Finch @ The Sugarmill, Stoke (11/11/2008)

Date: November 11th, 2008
Venue: The Sugarmill, Stoke-on-Trent
Support: DissolvedIn, Shadows Chasing Ghosts

Rating: 7/10

Website: www.thebandfinch.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/finchmusic

Finch profile

Bands split up all of the time, whether it be a highly profilic band, one only just breaking onto the scene, or even just a small club band. When Finch announced their split back in 2006, many fans felt the void that the post-hardcore group imprinted for the genre since their establishment and rise in 2002. Now it’s November 2008, and after their reform last year they’re back on UK soil again, showing just why we should give a fuck when a band of their calibur leaves the spotlight.

Opening band DissolvedIn (***) are the closest neighbours to Stoke on tonight’s bill, hailing from the Reading area. Though their a young band and there’s room for some improvement, DissolvedIn‘s pop-punk offerings are ones that have the forumla to entice some serious dancing, warm-up the crowd, and ignite some energy for what the audience are to endure for the rest of the evening. They put the effort in onstage too, with bassist Jamie acting like a toddler overdosed on Lucozade all over the stage, and frontman Dan bouncing and prowling around during Blink 182 cover ‘Pathetic’. They’ve laid their foundations as a band, but just need that extra push to take it to further and better places.

Ten minutes or so after they’ve cleared up, Shadows Chasing Ghosts (***) take it a level higher in terms of heaviness, producing a sound somewhat similar to the previous act of the night, but with the inclusion of beatdowns and harsh vocal work. Vocalist Trey Tremain bobs up and down throughout most of the set whilst screaming and singing from the top of his lungs, and guitarists Matt Jones and Rich Jones compliment one another’s efforts effectively. The odd full-body swing of a guitar is thrown in here and there for good measure too, just to improve the visual factor of their performance. It seems though that maybe a bit more effort could be made for encouraging crowd participation, with the random appearance of the band’s manager shoving a microphone into the crowd doing little to nothing extra then before.

It’s clear from the chants since Shadows Chasing Ghosts disappeared who the crowd have come to see – Finch (****). From the moment they take to the stage ’til the second they walk off, they kick in to song after song pulled-off flawlessly. You can tell they’ve been greatly missed – and greatly thanked for their reformation – the crowd setting off mosh pit after mosh pit like terrorist detonations blowing up. The post-hardcore superstars are ones to get involved with the crowd a little bit too, with Randy Strohmeyer standing on the crowd rail and falling onto the crowd on one or two occassions, and vocalist Nate Barcalow pacing in every possible area of the stage. A man of very few words, Nate rarely introduces any song on the setlist, and hands out the occassional “Thanks” to the audience, but from just watching you can see the emotion he pours into the songs. They have a comical side within them too, as Randy and Nate return after a short encore singing the infamous ‘Day-O’ song, before kicking back into the rest of their set. ‘What It Is To Burn’ finishes their set off perfectly, after having many shout-outs across the whole night for them to play it. The mosh pits become a complete frenzy, with the fans along with the band givingi it their all before the returned Finch leave the stage, and Stoke for the evening.

Written by Zach Redrup

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LIVE: Download Festival @ Donington Park (13/06/2009)

Date: June 13th, 2009
Venue: Donington Park
Stages: Main Stage, Second Stage, Red Bull Stage

Website: www.downloadfestival.co.uk
MySpace: www.myspace.com/downloadfestival

Bring on Download 2010!

The 2009 Download Festival has some great and legendary acts gracing its main stage, including Slipknot and Marilyn Manson, and the less time experienced Pendulum too.

DEVILDRIVER – MAIN STAGE
RATING: 8/10
DevilDriver are so intense and cataclysmic that they hold the world record for the largest ever recorded circle pit – which by the way was broken and set once again at this year’s Download set. The main stage suits them well, pulling off the previously mentioned achievement being one point to back this up, with the band members being one of the best connected to the audience all weekend. The crowd are glad to see them here too, and through songs like ‘Pray For Villains’ it’s clear to see DevilDriver are one of the bands most looked forward to this year. Circle pits and mosh pits go off instantaneously across the fields, like a minefield of sweat and flailing bodies. What a set to grab a new world record to, and leaves the crown of kings of moshpits firmly upon their heads.

IN CASE OF FIRE – SECOND STAGE
RATING: 4/10
With a name like In Case Of Fire, you’d imagine an act that would border upon the realms of danger with their live performance – nothing could be further from the truth. Being dubbed as the best Irish alternative rock act since Ash is also an over exaggerated statement if this is all this 3-piece can pull out of the bag. For the most part they’re motionless, showing little passion and energy to the fact they have a relatively high slot on the second stage; an impressive achievement with their popularity status. Songs like ‘This Time We Stand’ have little to know fire in their core, and no attempt to make this any different just brings boredom levels up for the entirety of their set.

FIGHTSTAR – SECOND STAGE
RATING: 6/10
Not long after releasing their latest album ‘Be Human’, London’s Fightstar have a lot to play with and showcase at their second stage slot. Unlike previous years where they’ve played Download Festival, the amount of bottles launched at Charlie Simpson has decreased dramatically to almost zero. Whilst singles like ‘Palahnuik’s Laughter’, ‘Grand Unification (Pt. 1)’, and ‘The English Way’ are delivered to critical feedback of screams of joy and continuous mosh pits, they just seem a bit plain in their showmanship. Bassist Dan Haigh whips the crowd up to lather more in the band’s set of alternative rock/post-hardcore onslaught, but in the stage performance itself the band seem almost static and robotronic in their delivery until closer ‘Deathcar’ comes along. Aside from that Fightstar are on good form with a set tighter than a fly’s arse, but without the physical passion it marks the difference between a good show and an excellent one.

NONE THE LESS – RED BULL BEDROOM JAM STAGE
RATING: 7/10
Watford grown None The Less are another of the lesser known acts to grace the Red Bull Bedroom Jam Stage, but that doesn’t mean they can’t kick up a decent flare in the crowd – which is exactly what the five-piece do. Their melodic metal and rock style which occasionally brushes upon hardcore cites a rather impressive mosh pit considering the band’s size and familiarity with the spectators before them. Frontman Anthony Giannaccini has a certain presence and onstage swagger about him, that along with his claims for people “to get moving” for them as much as possible and climbing on stage equipment engages the crowd to do so. Combined with the dual guitars from Owen Harvey and Joe Page, and Harvey‘s gritty harsh vocals, songs like ‘Define’ and ‘I Feel Like Your Enemy’ go down better than a girl from the Playboy mansion.

PENDULUM – MAIN STAGE
RATING: 7/10
Being one of the more out of place bands on the weekend’s line-up, Pendulum stick out almost like a sore thumb – not that this is always a bad thing, like in this circumstance. Though their electronic and synth led prowess onto the rock world, complete with an MC isn’t one that you’d expect to connect at this festival, but it does. Sure, popular chart entering numbers like ‘Propane Nightmares’ and ‘Granite’ are more than guaranteed to get a few bodies moving, but when they’re delivered with the accuracy and clean-cut end result to hoardes of raving spectators, it’s enough to put other acts who’ve been at this for years and more suitable for this festival in their place. It even sets a pretty high mark for the similar second stage headliners The Prodigy for that day, a band who are a prime influence on these juniors to that scene in comparison; though this set could leave that in question.

MARILYN MANSON – MAIN STAGE
RATING: 2/10
Marilyn Manson‘s performance is exactly what you shouldn’t do if you’ve been offered to play the sub-headlining slot at a music festival; don’t come on influenced by alcohol or some sort of drugs, don’t play mainly new material when you have an impressive back catalogue to work with too, don’t get touch-ups after every other song in your set by stagehands. After a long introduction before having the curtain dropped and revealing the band opening with ‘Four Rusted Horses’, the eagerly-awaiting crowd were in anticipation to see Manson and long-time friend and member Twiggy Ramirez back in the whole swing of things, and a decent album the previous month to indicate the band had their fire once more. Sadly Manson‘s intoxicated and what often seemed disinterest with his slot on the bill brought the levels down from what could have been exceptional to almost utter shit. On the small plus side, it’s nice to hear old favourites like ‘The Dope Show’, ‘Great Big White World’ and ‘The Beautiful People’. Just a shame that Manson is capable of pulling off something much more spectacular and didn’t seem to bothered in trying to, but more in contemplating with the crowd whether he should wear a coat or not, and that telling the crowd “Do not do drugs… unless you get them for free”. Sort yourself out please Manson, or you could crash and burn more and more sooner than you think.

SLIPKNOT – MAIN STAGE
RATING: 10/10
It’s been a long wait for the Iowan masked 9-piece, but their 10th anniversary since the release of their debut full-length sees them finally obtaining their well-earned place as Download‘s headliners. Even before one of them sets foot in sight on the stage there is a constant wave of chants for them to come on and play another set they’re more than well-known for. When they finally do it’s more than worth the wait and suspense; the raising and twirling percussion, the searing and frightfully amazing guitar and bass works, the fast yet precise lead drums of Joey Jordison, the colliding of band member’s bodies and running out to the crowd, and but of course Corey Taylor‘s distinguishable and impeccable vocals is just a fraction of what brings this set to life. The classics are all there; ‘Wait & Bleed’, ‘Duality’, ‘Left Behind’, ‘Vermilion’, there’s not a single thing out of place from the first second ’til the last easily making this one of the best sets over the three day weekend. The constant reminder of the fans being the reason for this being possible is constantly brought up, and Slipknot do more than return the favour. It’s when closer ‘Spit It Out’ comes along and the trademark “jump the fuck up” act is handed out when things come to their best. Literally thousands upon thousands of people clumped in the smallest of spaces to the biggest all crouch down at Corey‘s command across the field only to jump again in unison, and send one final frenzy. Slipknot can take off knowing that their headline set at Download Festival will be one set in the history books.

Written by Zach Redrup

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LIVE: Enter Shikari @ Academy 1, Manchester (12/10/2009)

Date: October 12th, 2009
Venue: Academy 1, Manchester
Support: True Tiger, The Devil Wears Prada

Rating: 8/10

Website: www.entershikari.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/entershikari

Enter Shikari profile

‘Common Dreads’ has most certainley sky-rocketed Enter Shikari up the charts and given the band a level of recognition they could never had achieved with their 2007 debut. The fact they’re selling out venues twice the size they were capable of a year previously, and the main Academy venue in Manchester is just one of them.

Dub-step group True Tiger (**) begin things to try and get people nice and warmed up with their synthetic dance beats and remixes intended to get the crowd moving fast and hard. What they reel out of their sleeves though is very tedious, repetative, and unoriginal, regardless as to how smooth each track flows into one another. The gang chants are very limited in a variety to, with more than enough “When I say ______, you say _____” being used, and the continuous mistake of calling the following band “Devils Wear Prada” is a tad annoying.

Of course they are called The Devil Wears Prada (****), and reflect more the heavier side of the night’s headliners as opposed to their dance/trance side from the previous act. Songs like ‘HTML Rulez d00d’, ‘Danger: Wildman’, and ‘Hey John, What’s Your Name Again?’ are batted out to the intense crowd, who’ve developed more than enough mosh pits in appreciation for the band’s UK return. Vocalists Mike Hranica and Jeremy DePoyster blend each others style better than before, and are clearly much stronger and confident within the band’s newer material than the older songs. Keyboardist James Baney is loving it too, coming up as close to the crowd as he can at any given oppurtunity, and when behind his instrument he rides it like a bucking bronco. Definitely overshadowing the failed attempts of the evening’s openers, whilst leaving themselve a tough act to top.

Still, Enter Shikari (****) deliver the goods to match, and perhaps even surpass that of the christian metalcore mob. Coming on the stage with matching band attire of polo shirts, the band shift through ‘Solidarity’ to ‘Step Up’ with precision and ease. The blend of extreme dub-step/trance/dance from one support band and heavy metalcore from another blends and transitions into the headliner more than well, and most definitely cleverly planned in advance. New material like ‘The Jester’ and ‘No Sleep Tonight’ entices as much crowd energy and participation as older hits like ‘No Sssweat’ and ‘The Feast’. Despite the freshness that has been added into the older material with the newer influences and approaches of synth the band have injected, some of the older material just seems to have sounded a lot better and bolder the way they were. Still, the buckets of sweat drenching the room from the thousands of people creating a minefield of moshpits and frenzied jumpers gives the band and extra confidence and edge. Frontman Rou Reynolds is as quirky as ever with his in-between song banter, really involving the audience. But you don’t see the full scale of this band’s impact until encore hits ‘Juggernauts’ and ‘Sorry, You’re Not A Winner’ finally make an appearance. The crowd surfers number triple and there’s little to no movement from the front to the back of the venue; evidence that their latest album is the start of more good things to come.

Written by Zach Redrup

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LIVE: Jeffree Star @ Club Academy, Manchester (13/04/2010)

Date: April 13th, 2010
Venue: Club Academy, Manchester
Support: Synthetic Season, Brokencyde
Website: jeffreestar.buzznet.com
MySpace: www.myspace.com/jeffreestar

Rating:

Anyone who’s spent some amount of time on MySpace – enough to know what a MySpace, or even an Internet celebrity is should have at least heard of who Jeffree Star is. For those of you who haven’t, Jeffree is one of the Internet’s most famous celebrities, even going as far as calling himself. Along with a fashion line, this fame also spawned him into a career in music… if you can call it that. Releasing his album just towards the end of 2009, Jeffree and co-headliners Brokencyde – also host to hostility for their music – are the forefront to their 2 DRUNK 2 FUCK tour.

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LIVE: Yashin @ The Underground, Stoke (30/10/2009)

Date: October 30th, 2009
Venue: The Underground, Stoke-on-Trent
Support: Beyond A Traitor’s Reason, Your Chariot Awaits
Website: None available
MySpace: www.myspace.com/theyashin

Rating:

A very underground band in their circuit, it seems more than fitting that Yashin are playing at a club called The Underground in Stoke. The Scottish boys may only have two EPs worth of material to work with and a new album on the horizon, but they’ve brought onto the show’s bill two local acts who are even deeper underground than the headliners themselves, as expected.

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