Date: January 28th 2020
Venue: The Star & Garter, Manchester
Support: Raiders / Only The Righteous / Above Our Instinct
Website: None available
One of the great things about the heavy music community is the camaraderie, right? Peers will continually support and help one another get that extra leg up, whether they’re on the same level of popularity or not – it really doesn’t matter.
Two of the UK’s promising up-and-comers Cutting Teeth and Raiders (both of whom feature on our Bands To Watch list this year) are kickstarting their 2020 by doing just that, by taking part in a co-headline stint across the UK, and in the recently-saved-from-being-demolished-for-train-station-expansion setting of The Star & Garter, it proves the emerging underground have plenty to offer.
Manchester locals Above Our Instinct  are first up, delivering some familiar head-banging inducing metalcore to instil the first spark of energy into the room. They’ve only got a bit of material to play with from their ‘Motions Of Decay’ EP, and cuts like ‘Break Away’ are inoffensive and enjoyable enough, but it’s all a little bit too by-the-numbers.
Unfortunately the set from Only The Righteous wasn’t caught, due to a bit of a scheduling conflict with an interview. Sorry, guys.
Next up, however, are Raiders . No doubt most of the people in the room will recognise vocalist Sean Smith and guitarist James Davies from their time in the now defunct Welsh sextet, The Blackout, and if they’re coming into this new project for the first time they’ll find it a comfortable transition.
Despite having to handle vocal duties alone this time around, Smith easily manages to captivate and even humour the crowd with his constant radiance of charisma, at one point heckling tour mates Cutting Teeth by branding them a ska punk band, and the other taking his microphone as far as its cable will take him whilst donning some questionable sunglasses. Once more recorded cuts start to drop, they’ll surely be raiding more stages and crowds to come.
Yorkshire terrorisers Cutting Teeth  are tasked with closing up the evening, choosing to steer clear of their debut EP ‘First Cut’ completely to focus on their fresh material on the recently released ‘Fracture/Decompose’. It’s every bit as visceral live as it is on record, with James Thurlby‘s screams maintaining near-banshee highs at times, and the pummelling rhythm duo of bassist Nath Euington and drummer Jono Roberts.
Due to an injury, guitarist Adam Jones is sadly sitting out the run, but the spot is filled in by Robert Kirk (The Escape Artist/99% Cobra), which fits nicely for him to provide his featured spot on ‘Ghost Blood’ live.
Unsurprisingly it’s a short set, but it’s gigs like these that prove quality over quantity reigns supreme. If you haven’t already then get on Cutting Teeth and Raiders as soon as you can, because if there’s any justice then you’ll see them starting to fill venues twice this size before the year is up.