LIVE: William Control @ Islington O2 Academy, London (31/05/2012)

Date: May 31st, 2012
Venue: Islington O2 Academy, London
Support: Spit Like This / Obscure Pleasures / Fearless Vampire Killers


As people start to fill into the O2 Academy in Islington, Spit Like This (**) start only a few minutes after doors open. Musically, the band are solid with good melodies, fast riffs and energy but they had too much chat (and not the good type); the lead singer’s jokes go down in the venue like lead balloons. The vocalist looks like a younger Ville Valo, minus as much heavy smoking, and the bassist is a girl (shocker). But, what really is a highlight of this band is the guitarist, who holding the fort of people surges out beat after beat, and riff after riff keeping the entertainment value.

As the band near the end of their set, they perform a song from The Rocky Horror Picture Show after the lead singer calls out for any transvestites (of which, Islington is clearly swarming with). Despite the small amount of people, the band make the most of what they have.

Obscure Pleasures (***) are a band who are likely to appeal to fans of Will Francis‘ other main project/band, Aiden. Lead singer Ben even looks like a younger Will, with the same smile and sleeked back black hair. They have a good sound and provide a fantastic set up for the rest of the evening, and Ben‘s excellent vocals stops everyone in their tracks and can cause your hair to stand up on the back of your neck. During the later part of their set, they invite a half dressed lady onto the stage (much to the men in the audiences’ pleasure) and after dancing around the band as if they were poles, she begins to pour stuff from a bottle of Jack Daniels over her body (although I am hoping it isn’t real JD, otherwise that would be a huge waste). It certainly grabs the audience’s attention.

The final support band onto the stage are Fearless Vampire Killers (****), who are here to prove that they do indeed deserve their recent Kerrang! Awards nomination, and my do they do that. The band are fast, furious and chaotic (definitely in the good way) as everywhere you look there are instruments flying and heads banging: they are brimming with energy and work the floor like natural performers. One of the exciting things about this band is the vocals, with Kier and Laurence switching lead vocals and guitars half way through, but also having two other strong singers to back them up. Fearless Vampire Killers are theatrical and a whirlwind of action who if their smiles are anything to go by are clearly very happy with where they are. They better put on their seatbelts, as things will certainly pick up very soon.

William Control (****) defy genre and it’s amazing how a band so dark with lyrics so deep can also cause people to dance so much. They are the perfect mix of dark heavy electronica, with music spanning three albums played. Tracks us such as ‘All due Restraint’ and ‘Beautiful Loser’ appear early and make the floor explode into a mass of sweaty jumping bodies. Will is the epitome of a front man goading the crowd for a reaction at any opportunity whilst flying around the stage and still performing a note perfect performance. His voice is so distinctive that every word he sings sounds darker and edgier, with an almost mesmerising voice you can’t help but stand in awe of a man who’s grown up in front of us in the music scene. The song which provokes the most reaction from the audience is ‘Judas’, a song with lyrics so dark and seductive yet which with such a technical, industrial edge.

William Control was formed so that Will could get across the deeper lyrics and feelings he couldn’t express in Aiden, and three albums later he’s still going strong.

Written by Rhian Westbury