LIVE REVIEW: Casey @ Boston Music Room, London (13/04/2018)

Credit: Promo

Date: April 13th 2018
Venue: Boston Music Room, London
Support: Rarity / Endless Heights


The Boston Music Room is a very underrated venue. Often overshadowed by its bigger sister The Dome, and conveniently located next door to possibly the cheapest Irish pub in London, you can find any number of up-and-coming rock bands gracing its stage every weekend.

Large enough that it occasionally attracts big names, but still small enough to feel intimate, the Kentish Town gem tonight plays host to an impressive line-up, headlined by Welsh emotive hardcore troupe Casey who’ve been causing all kinds of a stir for all the right reasons.

Being the opening act on a line-up this strong is never an enviable position, but Canadians Rarity [8] take to the challenge with great aplomb. Their pop-punk tinged tunes are served up with boundless energy and personality, and a large chunk of the crowd are clearly familiar with the material, much to the band’s surprise. “This is our first show in London, and we’ve been waiting three years to come here,” says frontman Loeden Learn, shaking his head in disbelief. Judging by the crowd’s vigour and enthusiasm, as they sing along to every word of slow burner, ‘Exhale’, they’ve been waiting that long, too. Delivering a strong set with confidence, charm, and utmost passion, Rarity are exactly as their name suggests, and a privilege to watch.

Sydney’s Endless Heights [8] are a force to be reckoned with. Just like Rarity, there’s no shortage of energy or character here. Joel Martorana is an adept and versatile vocalist, and he transitions effortlessly from well controlled almost-screams to breathy falsetto. Opener ‘You Coward’ is driven by searing guitars from Jem Siow and Christian Hrdina, and the hypnotic ‘Come A Little Closer’ resonates and reverberates with a force that would need to be measured on a Richter scale.

The performance is delivered with the skill and dexterity of a veteran band – despite being small in the UK, they’ve been playing together for almost a decade, and with a homecoming tour taking place a mere five days after they get back from this European run, it’s not surprising that they’re this polished.

When the support bands are this strong, there’s a risk of them upstaging the headliner – but that’s if the headliner wasn’t Casey [9]. Opening with the haunting ‘Making Weight’, the intro track from the band’s sophomore album, ‘Where I Go When I Am Sleeping’, frontman Tom Weaver holds the captive audience in the palm of his hands as they hang on his every word. The moody ambiance soon gives way to the blistering screams and riffs of ‘Phosphenes’, with guitarist Toby Evans providing weighty backing vocals that really kick the track up a notch.

The set consists mostly of material from both their most recent effort and debut album, ‘Love Is Not Enough’, but occasionally, the band step back even further into their timeline. After a shimmering instrumental interlude, they launch into gloomy older cut, ‘Teeth’, much to the appreciation of the crowd. There’s the kind of sincere connection between audience and band tonight that’s usually only felt in venues far smaller than this one. “Come and see us at the merch desk,” implores Weaver. “None of us care how much money you’ve got. We just want to talk to you.”

Tempered drums from Max Nicolai signal the start of ‘Bruise’, which is every bit as melodious and captivating as it is on record, before the juggernaut that is ‘Little Bird’, all stuttering guitars and fractured screams, ends the set on a high. At least, until they return for a much demanded encore, which sees a frenzied rendition of fan favourite, ‘Ceremony’. honestly, you’re exhausted just watching them.

All too often, bands who make phenomenal albums can’t quite match up in a live capacity. That’s not the case here. Turning in an utterly mesmerising set, Casey are not just a band you watch, they are a band you experience.

Written by Lottie Cook (@pixelottie)