LIVE REVIEW: Creeper @ KOKO, London (01/11/2018)

Credit: Promo

Date: November 1st 2018
Venue: KOKO, London
Support: Puppy / Delaire, The Liar


Is there ever a day of the year that’s more fitting for a Creeper show? It’s November 1st, the day after the creepiest night of the year, and the Southampton sextet are gearing up to play the biggest show of their career.

With a countdown on the band’s website leading up to this very moment, there’s an air of mystery and anticipation surrounding tonight, and you can be sure that Creeper wouldn’t want it any other way.

Never having been a band to shy away from the theatrics and dramatisation of their music, the grand and lavish interior of the KOKO provides the perfect setting for tonight’s affair and beginning proceedings are London based two-piece, Delaire, The Liar [7].

Opening for Creeper was always going to be a daunting prospect, but the duo grace the audience with their brand of emo-tinged punk to great effect. It’s makes a huge impact on the crowd, and a few people sing along at the front; a huge acclaim for a relatively new band. The void that’s left by not having a bassist does leave a bit of potential depth, but it’s nothing that can’t be overlooked.

Rising trio Puppy [5] are up next, and they probably weren’t expecting to have to follow such an accomplished opening act. They blend punk, alt rock, classic rock with the results providing the audience with loud drums, heavy chugging guitars, and vocals that are easy enough to sing along to.

The band put on a decent enough show, although lacking in a bit of stage presence. Upcoming album cuts ‘World Stands Still’ and ‘Black Hole’ are both highlights of a set that treads between momentarily exciting and middle of the road. Puppy have definitely won over a few fans, but there’s no doubting who everyone is here to see tonight.

As the room turns to darkness, the tension in the room reaches an all-time high. Flashes of light start to pulsate against the white sheet concealing the stage and eerie sounds create an atmosphere that’s symptomatic of this time of year and, in particular, Creeper [10]. It’s clear that this is the beginning of a show like none that Creeper have done before.

The sheet drops and the infamous Callous Hearts logo is plastered on a backdrop that seems so fitting in a venue of this calibre. Amidst the deafening screams, a man with dyed black hair just above shoulder length adorned in skin tight black jeans, a black leather jacket, and a black and purple dress shirt stands on top of a stage monitor. It’s Will Gould, and tonight is the night he proves he’s mastered the art of being a frontman.

As soon as the madness subsides for a brief second, Creeper throw themselves into a spellbinding and career spanning set that would turn even the most sceptical cynic into a fan. Beginning with ‘Suzanne’, the band bounce across the stage with more energy than they’ve ever had before. Storming through tracks from their debut record, ‘Eternity, In Your Arms’, the band have never sounded so good and the night descends into what is basically a Halloween party that’s a day overdue.

Throwing in fan favourites from their back catalogue, such as ‘Valentine’, ‘VCR’, and ‘Black Mass’, is a welcomed treat for the most die hard and long-lived Creeper fan.

Playing as if they’ve been demonically possessed, the set is full throttle until the poignant mid-way break in the form of acoustic track, ‘Crickets’. Keyboardist/vocalist Hannah Greenwood takes centre stage, and delivers a pitch perfect performance whilst audience stands deadly silent to appreciate it in its entirety.

‘I Choose to Live’ provides a performance of the likes that this venue has scarcely seen before. Think somewhere between My Chemical Romance at Hammersmith Apollo and Queen at Wembley Stadium and you have Creeper at the KOKO. It’s euphoric and triumphant, and there’s still a quarter of the concert left to play. How could they possibly follow that? By rallying through a few more songs and then, in the most Creeper way possible, they break up.

To cite lead singer Will Gould, “Of all the shows we’ve played in the last four years, this one will remain with us the longest because not only is this the last show of this album, it’s the last show we’ll ever do.” A brief 30 second speech that leads on to the show’s climax with the band’s most iconic song, ‘Misery’. Cue the floods of tears, the 1,500 shocked faces of everyone in tonight’s lavish venue, and the biggest sing along that the KOKO will ever witness – all three minutes and fifty seconds of it.

An almost ceremonial ritual of hanging up their Callous Heart adorned jackets to the back drop of a video recorded memoire of their four years as a band, and that’s it. Creeper have held a funeral on stage and ended their career by playing the biggest and best show of their career. Looking through the crowd it’s clear that what Creeper built was more than a career; they built a family of fans that are akin to a cult, and everyone in the room tonight is a part of that. Creeper burned fast and burned bright, but even eternity ends. For now, at least…

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