When it was first announced that the US powerhouses Touché Amoré were playing the intimate, 200 capacity Barfly venue in Camden, this reviewer knew that it wouldn’t be too long before it sold out. Which is a testimony to a) how good this band actually are and b) how much well deserved recognition they are actually getting right now.
Before they can take to the stage though, local hardcore lads Grappler (****) put in one hell of a performance. Their commanding stage presence, huge riffs and high energy make for an enjoyable set. Despite the lack of movement in the room, the band still looks like they are enjoying themselves. Keep an eye on these lads.
Whether or not, it is as they claim, due to illness, but there’s something not quite right about Pettybone (**). Their shrill vocals, down tuned guitars and disjointed riffs fail to make any sort of impression, which is somewhat of a shame as the four ladies look to be enjoying themselves, which at the end of the day is all that really matters. They know that people are only there for one band.
That band in question is the ever-phenomenal Touché Amoré (*****), and from the moment they hit the stage with the rousing ‘Method Act’ the energy levels both on stage and in the crowd pick up tenfold. Frontman Jeremy Bolm becomes inseparable from the crowd on shuddering renditions of ‘The Great Repetition’ and ‘Broken Records’, and his thunderous roar never sounds more impressive than during a breathtaking ‘Tilde’.
Perhaps the most awe-inspiring moment of the evening comes during ‘Honest Sleep’ when Bolm launches himself head first into the assembled throng so they can all, in unison, scream the a capella lyrics. It’s truly incredible. The band is even tempted into returning for an encore of ‘Cadence’, which pleases the eager crowd. The band returns to the UK next month with Pianos Become The Teeth, and I can only encourage you to no end to get to one of those shows.
Written by Oliver Thompson