The Booking Hall is a new and independent music venue in Dover, and, although barely a year old, it has already played host to intimate gigs from the likes of While She Sleeps, DragonForce, and Cancer Bats to name but a few.
Tonight, Creeper are here for the first in a series of warm-up shows in advance of their main stage appearance at Reading & Leeds Festival. Well-known for the fierce devotion of their fanbase, the so-called “Creeper Cult” are out in force and with the date sold out well in advance the excitement in the air is palpable.
But first of all, fellow Southampton punks Miss Vincent  are tasked with opening the proceedings, which they do with aplomb. Frontman Alex Marshall swiftly wins the crowd over with some endearing banter before the lads deliver a passionate set packed with sing-along choruses.
After a quick change of gear, second band of the night Doll Skin  are up who have come over all the way from Arizona. The group have a striking image and electrifying, energetic stage presence.
But everyone is here for one band and one band alone: Creeper . They take to the stage with a rip-roaring performance of ‘Suzanne’ and hit us with a set more or less evenly divided between material from their 2017 debut breakthrough ‘Eternity, In Your Arms’ and tracks from across all three of their preceding EPs.
Deep cuts such as ‘Black Cloud’ and ‘Henley’s Ghost’ go down an absolute storm with the sizeable contingent of long-term fans in the crowd. It’s amazing that any group can put together a 17 song setlist that consists solely of absolute bangers, but even more so when Creeper have so little recorded material under their belt at this early stage in their career.
The band are all on top form and seem to be loving every moment onstage. Will Gould‘s vocals are tremendous despite being frequently drowned out by the crowd, most of whom are belting out every single word from start-to-finish. Equally impressive is Hannah Greenwood, who takes to the mic for a stripped down rendition of ‘Crickets’, sparking some actual tears from several fans in the room.
Equally at home now in a tiny sweatbox or a festival main stage, it’s clear that Creeper haven’t forgotten their roots and are happy to get up close and personal in more intimate venues despite their recent successes. With material this strong and live performances this good, their upwards trajectory seems certain to continue.